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City of Seattle Incorporates Innovative, Environmentally Sustainable Drainage System into Aurora Avenue North Project Design Plans

Revised June 6, 2008

Aurora Avenue North is one of the primary transportation corridors for Seattle and the region, carrying ever-increasing numbers of cars, freight and bus riders daily. Presently, over 40,000 vehicles use Aurora Avenue North between 145th and 110th Streets. In the next 15 years, more than 14,000 additional vehicle trips per day—representing a 35 percent increase—are expected to use this segment of Aurora Avenue North. Aurora Avenue North is no longer able to keep people, goods and services moving as well as it used to. Congestion and delays are more frequent, while the number of accidents in this corridor is among the highest in Seattle.

The City of Seattle is committed to improving safety and mobility along Aurora Avenue North while at the same time upgrading pedestrian facilities, supporting economic growth, and creating a more vibrant corridor.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), working with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), King County Metro, and the community, is planning to make a number of high priority enhancements to the "North Focus Area" of Aurora Avenue North between 110th and 145th Streets.

As part of this project, SDOT planned to install four detention and water quality treatment vaults under the pavement in the City right-of-way. After further review and input from Seattle Public Utilities, an exciting alternative was identified involving the expansion of the Stone Pond Regional Detention facility, an existing part of the city’s natural drainage detention system. The Stone Pond expansion offers a number of benefits, including:

Significantly less capital cost and long-term maintenance costs;
Fewer construction impacts to area businesses and residents; and
Creation of a more environmentally sustainable water detention system.

As a result, SDOT has formally withdrawn the two SEPA applications and Declarations of Non-Significance in order to incorporate this innovative drainage detention option into the design plans for the Aurora Avenue North Improvement Project. Once the necessary technical analysis has been completed on the Stone Pond Regional Detention facility, the project will issue new environmental documentation. This change is expected to add an additional six to eight months to the project timeline.

Though the timeline has changed, the City remains firmly committed to improving safety and mobility on Aurora Avenue North and helping foster a more vibrant corridor.

For more information contact Ken Lee at (206) 684-3514 or ken.lee@seattle.gov.



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