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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Finally Fixing the Mercer Mess

2/17/2010  1:30:00 PM

Finally Fixing the Mercer Mess
Federal grant will allow city to break ground on new project

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn today thanked President Obama for awarding Seattle $30 million to transform Mercer Street into a two-way boulevard that links South Lake Union and the Seattle Center to the rest of the Puget Sound region.  The project provides significant bicycle, pedestrian and freight improvements, including 30 blocks of sidewalks. McGinn also thanked Sen. Patty Murray for her hard work to secure this important transportation funding.

“This project has been decades in the making, and we’re finally moving forward,” said McGinn. “This is a neighborhood where people work, live and play. As the President recognized, it’s a corridor of national significance, boasting the Gates Foundation, headquarters and major life science pioneers. The new Mercer Street will be a model for the nation.”

Demolition of eight vacant properties will take place within a few weeks. Construction will begin this summer and conclude in 2012.

Funding for the $190.5 million project comes for a number of sources:

  • $30 million from federal stimulus
  • $69.7 million of city funds included in the 2010 Capital Improvement Project budget
  • $31.4 million from private contributions
  • $31 million of savings from major construction projects
  • $13.5 million from Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities in 2010 Capital Improvement Project budget
  • $9.5 million in grants from Puget Sound Regional Council
  • $0.7 million from additional SEPA mitigation fees from two recent developments in addition to Vulcan
  • $4.9 million estimated proceeds from selling surplus city property in the neighborhood

The project will create 1,200 direct construction jobs and provide opportunities for minority contractors and apprentices. More than 245,000 people work in Seattle’s greater downtown today, and 50,000 additional jobs are expected by 2024. Visit the project website here.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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