A recent suggestion by a few other Seattle officials to delay construction of a new SR 520 bridge in order to redesign it was met with an immediate push back by a coalition of public officials business (including AGC) and labor.
A group wants to change the design of the future Highway 520 bridge lanes in hopes of limiting cars that enter the city. Currently the state is planning for two general lanes and one high-occupancy vehicle lane in each direction (with capacity to carry a future light rail line). The Seattle groups want the HOV lanes to instead be used only for buses or a shared bus-rail corridor. Such a move would require new drawings and a revised EIS pushing the project – already 15 years in the making – back another two years.
At a Feb. 4 press conference the AGC and the broad coalition – including five Seattle City Council members – released a statement that said in part: “A new 520 bridge and corridor has the potential to improve transit connections and mobility enhance safety and the environment and create good construction jobs at a time when they are needed most. We believe sufficient time has been devoted to the process…It’s important to move forward because as we all know the longer we wait the more expensive it gets.”
Gov. Gregoire supports moving forward on 520 construction. “The office of Attorney General tells us that revising these decisions from several years ago would set the project back at least 18 to 24 months” she said. “Our commitment to ensuring public safety does not allow that kind of delay.”
The state hopes to complete construction of the new 520 by 2014. Construction of the new pontoons is getting under way; in December WSDOT announced that Kiewit-General Joint Venture had the best apparent value for the Pontoon Construction Project.
For detailed job and contracting opportunities related to SR 520 click SR 520 Contracting and Job Information Web page.