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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Amy Grotefendt, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-295-9846 (cell)
KaDeena Yerkan, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-805-2846; 206-795-1876 (cell)
SEATTLE –The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will not appeal King County Superior Court Judge Laura Middaugh’s decision to refer one section of a Seattle City Council ordinance to voters on the August ballot. The ordinance approved three technical agreements between WSDOT and the city of Seattle for the proposed State Route 99 bored tunnel project.
The technical agreements ensure that the city’s infrastructure is protected during construction, the project is built to city standards and elements of the project important to the city are completed. One section of the ordinance requires the Seattle City Council to provide notice to WSDOT after holding a public meeting. The meeting would be held after the final environmental report is published this summer, and, if given, would continue the agreements during final design and construction.
“We respect Judge Middaugh’s decision that Seattle voters have a chance to weigh in on how the Seattle City Council will give notice to continue the agreements that protect the city’s interests,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with the council as we replace the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct after 10 years of public debate and evaluation of more than 90 different options.”
The state had up to 30 days to appeal the decision, which was issued May 20. WSDOT’s decision to accept the court’s ruling was made in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General.
The final environmental impact statement will be published by the Federal Highway Administration, WSDOT, and city of Seattle this summer. If the bored tunnel receives environmental approval, WSDOT will issue a notice to the design-build contractor to proceed with final design and construction. Construction of the bored tunnel will begin this fall.
For more information about the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org/.
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