South Park Bridge update: “Pressure solves problems”

March 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, South Park, Transportation | 11 Comments

We’re at the South Portal Working Group meeting looking at what’s ahead for the Alaskan Way Viaduct – an ongoing process – and one group member, Marty Oppenheimer from South Park, brought up the issue of the South Park Bridge‘s impending June 30th closure. For those following the issue – of interest to many in south West Seattle and White Center, too – there were a few interesting replies from various city, state and port reps who are here. Ron Paananen from WSDOT noted the situation is “starting to get the attention of people in Olympia.” Ron Judd, also from WSDOT, said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond asked him to “sit down with various folks to see if there’s a way in which we could provide some sort of assistance or help in solving this problem” – especially regarding putting together a “competitive” package to seek money for the bridge project. He added, “Pressure solves problems – and pressure is beginning to build.” Mike Merritt from the Port said, “We’re all engaged – we need to find a path that the project hasn’t had in the past.” He noted there’s a “big meeting” regarding the South Park Bridge situation tomorrow with multiple agencies/jurisdictions involved; we’re checking to find out more about that. Meantime, we’ll have a full report later on the main subject of this working-group meeting: What it’ll be like as Viaduct/South End construction is staged over the next five years – what closes when, who detours where and when, what’s getting built when, etc. Lots and lots of changes, twists and turns – we’ll try to help you make some sense of it.

11 Comments

  1. Um… where’s the mayor?

    Comment by CB — 6:21 pm March 23, 2010 #

  2. Okay, CB, is someone paying you to patrol blogs and take potshots at the mayor? He seems to have made some enemies of some powerful people. Good for him, I say. It’s about time someone stood up to those who feed at the public trough.

    It certainly didn’t do anything to help the bridge when people like CB held its replacement hostage to passage of a much larger pork-laden bond issue.

    Comment by South Park denizen — 7:12 pm March 23, 2010 #

  3. The SP Bridge news is getting better and better. These are the people who can make it happen. Paula Hammond was appointed by the governor so this support is coming from the very top. It’s good to see WSDOT apparently taking the lead from the county, to bring the stakeholders together for cooperation and get the funding gathered from available sources.

    Comment by dsa — 7:36 pm March 23, 2010 #

  4. Actually I’m covering the mayor’s media brown-bag tomorrow and if nobody asks him about South Park before I get “my” question, I’m asking him about it. Stay tuned!

    Comment by WSB — 8:00 pm March 23, 2010 #

  5. Um, where was the governor before the bridge was scheduled to close?

    Um, where was the city council? Where was the county council?

    Management by crisis is no way to run a government.

    Comment by South Park denizen — 8:31 pm March 23, 2010 #

  6. I would love to hear the Mayor’s answer. I’m sure the answer will be dodgy but I think the city should be taking this seriously. It deals with connecting two parts of Seattle together. I’m a Seattle resident but do not live in SP, killing the bridge will directly affects me negatively in multiple ways.

    Comment by mikeHLandPark — 8:34 pm March 23, 2010 #

  7. Where is Mayor Haggerton’s position in all this? They (Tukwila) do own the North half the bridge after all.

    Comment by Jim — 9:54 pm March 23, 2010 #

  8. The City of Seattle doesn’t have the responsibility for the South Park Bridge. King County does.

    So, how about less dodginess from the county council and the county executive? (I like Dow, but he is sure succumbing to the bullying of Building Trades lately.)

    The mayor has done all we’ve asked of him so far regarding the bridge. So, chill it with the potshots from people who have other motives. Other politicians have been in office much longer, and are not getting these sort of potshots despite working against replacing the bridge.

    Comment by South Park denizen — 11:21 pm March 23, 2010 #

  9. The Mayor will have a difficult time answering to the question of the South Park Bridge since he his Sierra Club pals killed the Roads Transit Bill that would have funded full replacement of the bridge.

    Comment by Bridge Up — 9:13 am March 24, 2010 #

  10. It was Mike McGinn that was making overtures to South Park residents about the bridge during his campaign. He either lives up to the promises made or takes the heat. No free rides, especially with only 50.5% of the vote.

    Comment by tpn — 1:40 pm March 24, 2010 #

  11. I’ll be posting one big South Park Bridge story in a while. Specifically, I asked the mayor if the city would pony up some money, as a county rep who spoke to me at the closure coordination meeting BEFORE the mayoral brown-bag suggested they’d be asked to. The mayor basically said, they don’t have any money, though of course they’re not entirely completely totally ruling out the concept. He suggested the port might consider diverting some of the $300 million it’s committed to The Tunnel. Stand by for video of the entire answer – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:50 pm March 24, 2010 #

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