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Council’s Transportation Committee Votes to Loan $70M for West Seattle Bridge Repair

Seattle, WA — Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4 – Northeast Seattle) and Chair of the Transportation and Utilities committee, and Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1 – West Seattle and South Park), voted to pass an interfund loan for the West Seattle Bridge on Wednesday.

Council Bill 119858 will authorize the loan of funds in the amount of $50,000,000 from the Construction and Inspections Fund and $20,000,000 from the Real Estate Excise Tax, or REET II, Capital Projects Fund to the 2021 LTGO Taxable Bond Fund for “early phases of work on the bridge repair and replacement project.”

“I’m pleased to partner with the Durkan Administration to generate this initial funding to shore up the West Seattle Bridge and improve transportation alternatives, while we determine the costs and benefits of repairing or replacing this vital infrastructure for Washington State,” said Pedersen.

“We’ve got three new actions this week advancing critical work on the West Seattle Bridge. The Bridge is a declared emergency and we can’t use regular planning approaches, so I thank both my Council colleagues for recommending financing legislation to Full Council as well as SDOT for moving quickly to hire a designer, as announced yesterday. I’m eager to implement the third critical action discussed today – automated traffic enforcement on the low bridge,” said Herbold.

On March 23, 2020 the West Seattle Bridge was closed to traffic due to rapid growth in cracking along the center section of the West Seattle Bridge. Since that time, Council has received several briefings and updates from SDOT pointing to the need for significant infrastructure investment and repair.

Included in the funding package is a preliminary two-year work plan, with emphasis on “broad community engagement efforts” and includes emergency repairs and bridge stabilization work, bridge monitoring, planning and design, repairs and enhancements to the Spokane Street (Lower) Bridge, and traffic and mobility mitigation projects.

The legislation will be sent to the Full Council, which is scheduled to vote/for final passage on Tuesday, September 8 at 2:00 p.m.

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