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City of Seattle signs agreement with State on SR 520 project

Mayor Mike McGinn
Council President Richard Conlin
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

City of Seattle signs agreement with State on SR 520 project
Memorandum of Understanding between City of Seattle and Washington State Department of Transportation defines responsibilities

Seattle – Today the Seattle City Council and Mayor McGinn completed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) that will help protect the City’s interests on the SR 520 bridge replacement project. This MOU, unanimously passed as Council Bill 117303, expresses the intention of the City of Seattle and the State of Washington to work collaboratively.

“I want to thank the Seattle City Council and Mayor McGinn for their work on this agreement for the SR 520 project,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “The agreement solidifies the meaningful partnership between the City and State to help secure the remaining funds for SR 520 and deliver the project on time and on budget. A safer SR 520 corridor will improve our region by replacing the vulnerable bridge and helping employees, businesses and mobility.”

“The MOU creates a formal commitment between the City and the State and ensures that the City will participate in critical west side decisions and that neighborhood traffic management and tree protection will be a priority,” stated Council President Richard Conlin. “The City, along with our state and regional partners, has been working hard to improve the design and safety of this critical corridor. This MOU maintains the City’s involvement if there are changes in the future.”

Also described in the MOU are the activities that the City of Seattle will undertake as part of the project, including participation in design review, connecting the new cross-lake bicycle and pedestrian trail to city facilities, developing triggers and a decision-making process for whether a second Montlake Bridge will be constructed, and developing a neighborhood traffic management plan.

“I have appreciated working with the City Council and WSDOT to develop an MOU that gives us a solid framework for advancing Seattle’s interest as the process moves forward,” stated Mayor Mike McGinn.

Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen added, “Securing full funding for the project is essential to realizing the full transportation and mobility benefits of the 520 bridge. This MOU provides clarity on the state’s commitment to meeting the City’s goals for the project and to protect our neighborhoods during construction.”

The concept for an MOU was initially referenced in the September 27, 2010, letter from the Seattle City Council to WSDOT, which signaled a desire to formalize a joint understanding of how the City and WSDOT would proceed with various project components.

WSDOT awarded a design-build contract for the new SR 520 floating bridge in August, and construction is expected to begin on Lake Washington in 2012. SR 520 replacement construction is under way on the Eastside as well as pontoon construction in Grays Harbor.  Earlier this summer, WSDOT received federal approval for the I-5 to Medina project, completing the environmental process for the entire program.

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