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Mayor, Councilmember Rasmussen Announce Support of SR 520 West Side Design

City of Seattle
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 8/31/2015

Mayor, Councilmember Rasmussen Announce Support of SR 520 West Side Design
Seattle’s Design Preferences Expressed in New Resolution

SEATTLE Today Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen introduced a resolution outlining the City of Seattle’s priorities and principles as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) moves forward to finish design and begin construction on the West Side of the SR 520 bridge replacement project. The resolution incorporates years of feedback and engagement from the local community and stakeholders, and represents a unified policy position from the City on the major design elements of the project.

“The 520 bridge is a critical transportation corridor and economic lifeline for the region. The final design must improve the flow of the roadway and the livability of the communities that surround it,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This resolution represents an important next step as we work with our state partners to complete the project so that it is seismically safe and works for all modes – cars, transit, bicycles and pedestrians. For the first time, we will have a unified City position on the design of the project.”

“After more than a decade working on SR 520 issues, I am eager for this project to be completed.  The design includes features that create more usable and integrated spaces for the community, provide safe connections for bikes and pedestrians and keep cars and transit moving,” said Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen. “This resolution affirms the commitment of the Council to work with the Mayor to ensure a successful outcome.”

In July 2015, the Washington State Legislature approved funding for remainder of the 520 project, which has been named the “Rest of the West” by WSDOT. The City’s resolution concurs with the 2015 Final Design Concept Report, which calls for a box girder style bridge including a bike and pedestrian path over Portage Bay, redesigned highway lids with a new land bridge, and multimodal connectivity improvements. The City is also asking WSDOT to consider an additional bike and pedestrian bridge across the Montlake Cut, transit priority enhancements, intelligent transportation system improvements (ITS), improved pedestrian safety at the Montlake interchange, and neighborhood traffic enhancements.

“We are pleased by the progress so far and look forward to continuing to work with the City and WSDOT to ensure the highest quality final design,” said Lionel Job, of the community group Montlake Neigborhood Greenways.

WSDOT and the City previously agreed to the following design framework through the Seattle Community Design Process in 2013:  

  • A new Portage Bay Bridge between I-5 and Montlake, designed to better fit surroundings and resist earthquakes.
  • Highway lids at Montlake Boulevard and 10th Avenue East/Delmar Drive East to help reconnect neighborhoods and provide transit facilities.
  • New HOV lanes from I-5 to Montlake Boulevard that will complete the SR 520 HOV system from I-5 to Redmond.
  • The south half of a new west approach bridge built to modern seismic standards for carrying eastbound traffic from Montlake to the new floating bridge.
  • Mobility improvements such as bicycle, pedestrian and transit connections, and networks to and from SR 520 to existing and planned city networks, including options for users of all ages and abilities and safer undercrossing.
  • An extension to I-5 of a regional bicycle and pedestrian path from Seattle to the Eastside, with connections to local trails and transit stops.

Council will host a Public Hearing to hear community feedback on the resolution. The hearing will be held at University Christian Church located at 4731 15th Ave. NE on Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m.  Full Council is expected to vote on the resolution in late September.

To read the full resolution, click: www.seattle.gov/council/attachments/SR520Resolution.pdf

For more information, visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/I5toLakeWa/default.htm

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Office of the Mayor

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