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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY

SUBJECT: Mayor Kicks Off City’s 2008 Transportation Construction Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
4/16/2008  11:30:00 AM
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Mayor Kicks Off City’s 2008 Transportation Construction Season
338 projects this year will pave roads,
add sidewalks, pedestrian and bike improvements

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels today kicked off what promises to be a full road construction season under the Bridging the Gap transportation program, including projects to pave 41 lane miles of road, build new sidewalks, plant trees and complete pedestrian and bike trail projects.

“These transportation projects will get Seattle moving,” Nickels said. “This year, we are shifting into high gear to create a transportation system that makes it safer and easier to bike, bus, walk and drive. We ask for your patience. Once the dust settles, you will be pleased.”

The work is the biggest year yet for improvements that are made possible by the voter-approved Bridging the Gap levy, which is providing the resources to turn the tides on a generation of declining state and federal transportation funding for Seattle.

In all, the city will break ground on 338 transportation improvement projects this year. The total estimated cost of the work is $92 million. Thanks to the voter-approved Bridging the Gap transportation levy, the city continues to reduce a long-standing maintenance backlog.

Projects small and large - from traffic circles to major paving projects - will improve every neighborhood in the city.

As the mayor spoke this morning, nearby Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews were preparing to replace a sidewalk in Ballard. A short distance away work has begun to pave 15th Avenue from the Ballard Bridge to downtown, making way for bus lanes later this year. The paving project will span 18.6 lane miles and will include stretches of Denny, Western and Elliott avenues.

In addition, three other major paving projects include Fifth Avenue through downtown, First Avenue through the SODO area and Boren Avenue and East Madison Street.

The roadways were selected for paving this year so that critical streets will be ready when Alaskan Way Viaduct construction work begins. All four paving projects, totaling 41 lane miles, will begin this spring and conclude in late fall. The projects will feature bike-friendly grates, bike-sensitive traffic detector loops and pedestrian upgrades. Last year, the city paved 27 miles of roadway. The city used to pave between four and eight miles a year.

In addition to the paving work, SDOT crews will build 15 to 18 blocks of new sidewalk and repair many more. Last year, the city added 13 blocks of new sidewalks.

Crews will install new street signs at 1,071 intersections, compared to 1,043 intersections last year. Bicyclists will enjoy 30 new miles of bike lanes in addition to the 21 miles added last year. The city will also plant 800 street trees.

As part of today’s announcement SDOT unveiled its 2008 construction map. The map reveals, in a dynamic web-based format, where work will be performed across the city. Citizens can also use this helpful tool to learn additional information about the projects. To view the map and a list of projects, go to www.seattle.gov/transportation/map/2008_Construction_Map.htm

Approved by voters in 2006, the $365 million Bridging the Gap levy enables much-needed work by SDOT, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge upkeep, and tree pruning and planting. It also supports the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, the Safe Routes to School program, enhanced transit connections and large Neighborhood Street Fund projects.

Visit the mayor’s web site at www.seattle.gov/mayor. Get the mayor’s inside view on efforts to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm

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