Spokane Street Viaduct completed under budget

Money saved will be applied to sidewalks, maintenance, signal upgrades, and more

The Spokane Street Viaduct project approved by the Seattle City Council in 2008 was declared complete by the City of Seattle and in a press release it was announced that the project came in under budget. The resulting savings that the additional funds will be applied to a variety of areas around the city. The project itself improved the stretch of roadway that connects the West Seattle Bridge to I-5 by expanding it to three lanes in each direction and adding on- and off-ramps, including one exclusively for buses. While the improvements help move transit, freight, and vehicles on the Viaduct, they also provide better access on Spokane Street (below the Viaduct) for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The release from the city said:
Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Peter Hahn today announced additional funds to be invested in sidewalks, basic road maintenance, upgrades to the City’s traffic signal system, work to complete the Burke-Gilman “Missing Link” and support for Seattle’s updated Transit Master Plan. These investments, totaling $11.75 million, are possible due to SDOT finishing the Spokane Street Viaduct project under budget. The department achieved the cost savings through a favorable bidding climate and strong oversight of the $163 million project, the largest city transportation project completed in several decades.

“We are working hard to capture these savings and spend them on the things that Seattleites care about,” said McGinn. “That’s why we are using these dollars to support pedestrian safety, invest in basic infrastructure upgrades, road maintenance and planning for the future. I thank our Department of Transportation for their stewardship of taxpayer dollars in their work to bring in Spokane Street under-budget.”

The work that will be funded by these savings includes:

· Major road reconstruction - $3.5 million

· Freight corridor improvement - $1 million

· Repair of two city-owned retaining walls - $700,000

· Additional funds for crack sealing program, a pothole prevention technique - $200,000. This nearly doubles the Mayor’s budget for crack sealing to $450,000.

· Bike Master Plan implementation- $1 million

· Sidewalk improvements/Pedestrian Master Plan implementation- $1 million

· Neighborhood Street Fund - $1 million

· Adaptive Traffic Signal study and work on recommended projects - $2.5 million

· Support for Transit Master Plan implementation - $800,000

· Only in Seattle funding for infrastructure investments in neighborhood business districts - $50,000.

The funding for this work is included in Mayor McGinn’s Supplemental Budget proposal to the City Council for the first quarter of 2013.

“By completing the Spokane Street Viaduct project under budget, we are able to fund needed transportation investments elsewhere in Seattle,” said Hahn. “These resources will help make walking, driving and biking easier and safer for everyone.”

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