The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

WSDOT Update - Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement

Project Phase: Design
Project Facts

* About 110,000 vehicles use the viaduct each day.
* The viaduct is 2.1 miles long.
* The existing structure has an overall width of 51 feet (near Madison Street).

Project Status

March 1 2008

The Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program is composed of the Moving Forward projects, located in the north and south ends of the viaduct, and the central waterfront project.

The Moving Forward projects will repair or replace about half of the seismically vulnerable viaduct. These projects are necessary to improve public safety and keep traffic moving no matter what replaces the viaduct in the central waterfront section.

The central waterfront project will be decided through a collaborative process managed by the State of Washington, King County, and the City of Seattle.

Why is WSDOT pursuing this program?

The Alaskan Way Viaduct plays a major role in sustaining our economy and maintaining our citizens' ability to travel to and throughout Seattle. However, the viaduct, along with the seawall, is at risk of failure from earthquakes (with unacceptable risk to lives as well as property) and irreversible loss of use from age and deterioration. The structure must be replaced.

Our Partners
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), King County, and the City of Seattle have formed a partnership to lead this program.

The End Result
The end result for this program will be the replacement of the viaduct and seawall.

Project Benefits

* Safety. This program will create safe, seismically sound replacement structures for the viaduct and seawall.
* Traffic. This program will maintain traveler mobility within and through Seattle.

What is the project timeline?
Construction on the first Moving Forward project began in 2007. All of the Moving Forward projects are expected to be completed by 2012, when we will begin to remove the viaduct along the central waterfront. Visit the Timeline for more information.

Public Involvement
Your thoughts and opinions are important to us. The viaduct and seawall replacement program offers many opportunities for your involvement. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a presentation or share your ideas.

Environmental Protection
We make every effort to assess and avoid or minimize environmental impacts from our projects.

Environmental impacts from this program are analyzed and described in our Environmental Impact Statements. Additional environmental analysis may be required for each of the Moving Forward projects. Appropriate plans for mitigation of impacts will be developed and documented as part of the environmental documentation and permitting processes.

Please visit the WSDOT Environmental Services Web site for more information.

Increasing safety is one of our priorities
Time, wear and tear from daily traffic, the salty marine air, and earthquakes have taken their toll on the viaduct. We continue to monitor and inspect the viaduct as we move forward with these critical safety and mobility projects.

Will this project impact tribal resources?
At WSDOT we seek to address the concerns of tribal nations using the process outlined in Section 106 of The National Historic Preservation Act and the WSDOT Tribal Consultation Policy, which was adopted in 2003 as part of the WSDOT Centennial Accord Plan.

Government-to-government consultation has been initiated between WSDOT (on behalf of FHWA) and the Muckleshoot, Tulalip, Snoqualmie, Suquamish and Yakama Nation tribes. Under Section 106 regulations, we are also meeting with the Duwamish tribe. Coordination with the tribes will continue throughout the project. For more information, visit our WSDOT Tribal Liaison.

Financial Information

This program is funded through the following sources:

* 2005 Gas Tax (Partnership Funding) - $2 Billion
* 2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) - $177 Million
* 2005 Federal Earmark Funds - $207.5 Million
* Other Funds - $19 Million
These funds are provided by the City of Seattle ($15.8 million), Puget Sound Regional Council ($1.2 million), the US Army Corps of Engineers ($100,000 for the seawall), and the federal 2003 budget ($2 million).

Total Funding Available From All Sources - $2.4 Billion

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