Feb. 1, 2010
Constantine on 520 bridge replacement
Metro and Sound Transit must be at the table for decisions on the final alignment
King County Executive Dow Constantine today welcomed the city of Seattle's engagement in the process of replacing the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge:
"The city of Seattle is an important partner in the 520 bridge replacement project. There can be no progress without Seattle's involvement, and I appreciate the engagement of the Seattle Mayor and local community leaders in this process. I look forward to meeting with the Mayor to learn more about his proposal for bridge replacement.
"Fixing the 520 bridge is a matter of public safety and King County is committed to working with the state and cities to move forward on this project. On any replacement bridge, King County supports moving the most people in the way that is most efficient, economical, and responsible to the environment.
"The County's policy on this was set last year when the King County Council endorsed the so-called 'A+ option' for the 520 bridge. This decision was based in large part on the many transit improvements this alignment would provide, including new high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the bridge itself that could accommodate an increased flow of buses, vanpools and carpools.
"Whatever final alignment emerges, I believe it must share the goals of creating a dependable, high-capacity transit corridor across the lake, and accomplishing this at the most reasonable cost with consideration for the impacts to the environment and neighboring communities. In order to accomplish those goals, it is vital that King County Metro Transit and the regional Sound Transit be at the table to ensure that the needs of public transit are met.
"In partnership with the state and federal governments, King County and Sound Transit will increase rush hour bus service on the 520 corridor by 90 to 100 trips daily later this fall and next spring, to provide more travel options for commuters when tolling on the bridge is implemented. Public transit currently carries 14,500 riders per day in the 520 corridor and we expect ridership to grow by one-third when the expanded service is in place.
"The 520 corridor is a lifeline for communities on both sides of Lake Washington and is essential for the region's economic well-being. We must all work together to ensure the 520 replacement project is delivered on schedule and on budget."
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