(Click image to see the full-size map on the city website)
An emerging city transportation project potentially involves both the West Seattle “low bridge” (officially the SW Spokane Street Swing Bridge) and lower Spokane Street from East Marginal Way eastward. The proposal to create a “heavy-haul corridor” turned up toward the end of this news release sent by Mayor Ed Murray‘s office late Tuesday afternoon about a “Maritime/Manufacturing Summit” held Monday. The news release included a link to the map you see above and noted, “In cooperation with the Port of Seattle, roads along this corridor will be rebuilt to new heavy haul standards” to “enable permitted vehicles carrying overweight loads to travel on designated routes.”
While described in the mayor’s news release as having been announced at the summit, the heavy-haul-network concept has been under discussion for a while; we’ve found earlier mentions including a letter of support this past March from the city Freight Advisory Board, pointing out that the “heavy haul” vehicles’ per-axle maximum weights would be below vehicles already using city roads, including trash trucks and Metro buses.
For followup questions, the mayor’s office pointed us to SDOT communications director Rick Sheridan. He says that “rebuil(ding)” the corridor means that “SDOT will assess whether some roads in the heavy-haul network would benefit from an additional layer of paving to account for more frequent use by heavy vehicles and the appropriate time to accomplish that work.” As for where the proposal goes next: “The mayor will submit legislation to the city council this summer to establish a heavy-haul permitting system, to include a fee structure and any necessary terms and conditions of the permit.”