Viaduct project economic-analysis report: 1 West Seattle mention

SCENIC_Alaskan_Way_AWV1.jpgJust combed through the latest report released as part of the ongoing drive to settle on a Central Waterfront Viaduct replacement by year’s end: the draft version of the Economic Analysis of Viaduct Scenarios. The only major West Seattle-specific mention is this look at how the project might affect Nucor in North Delridge:

Nucor, a major steel company, operates Seattle’s steel mill. The Nucor plant is located south of the West Seattle Bridge. It is a 660,000 square foot plant with 291 workers that can make about 800,000 tons of steel a year. The plant recently got new air quality permits that would allow it to make up to 1.1 million tons per year.

In theory, viaduct removal and construction could pose problems for the mill. Because of its location, Nucor has few options but to deal with traffic on I-5, and will be concerned that capacity reductions, both temporary and long-run in the SR 99 corridor, will affect I-5. Its customers are primarily construction projects located around the region where steel has to be delivered by truck during daylight hours. Because there are limited options for stockpiling steel mill products outside of the affected area, the company’s ability to deliver products to customers could be impaired during construction. Permanent closure, however, seems doubtful because permits for steel mills are difficult to obtain and the Seattle plant has no local competition for steel production. Nucor does not provide all of the steel needed for construction in the Seattle area; a major portion of it is imported or comes from steel from mills in Oregon. Construction impacts would also affect imported steel, however, leaving Nucor with no net competitive disadvantage. Indeed, the viaduct project itself could be a major customer for steel and may even help Nucor.

Overall, the report reached no clarion conclusion, with this among its final bulletpoints:

No single scenario emerges as the best or worst from an economic impact perspective. On the many dimensions we evaluated, we found no option that was consistently at the top or consistently at the bottom. That makes decisionmaking harder. For example, the bored bypass tunnel (F) probably reduces business impacts during construction, but it will likely cost more, take longer to build (so that the impacts it does have last longer), and have an unquantified but important cost of exposing Seattle to several additional years of risk of a catastrophic collapse in an earthquake if the viaduct remains until the bored tunnel opens to traffic.

Before the next Stakeholders Advisory Committee meeting this Thursday (4:30-8 pm, City Hall downtown), state, county, and city reps are scheduled to reveal the finalists — two or three “hybrid” scenarios ostensibly to be cobbled together from elements of the 8 original ‘scenarios’ (all shown here). One committee member has already come up with a hybrid of sorts, according to citywide newspaper reports today. Then, whatever emerges later this week as the list of finalists, you’re invited to speak out about them at a public meeting next Monday night (12/15), 5-7:30 pm, Town Hall downtown – 1119 8th Ave (map).

7 Replies to "Viaduct project economic-analysis report: 1 West Seattle mention"

  • Scott B. December 9, 2008 (4:16 am)

    I thought it was kind of fun to poke around Nucor’s website to see what products they manufacture at the Seattle mill. It’s easy to see (eastbound) from The Bridge that they recycle steel, but I haven’t noticed finished products… maybe because I am a cautious driver.

  • WSB December 9, 2008 (8:10 am)

    Passengers are good for that – when driving The Bridge with Junior Member of the Team the other day, he reported unsolicitedly (it was nighttime) that he couldn’t see any evidence of all that glowing molten stuff in the works. I remember the first time, long ago, not being in the driver’s seat and therefore (during the day) noticing the rail cars full of about-to-be-recycled scrap, in waiting – TR

  • fiz December 9, 2008 (9:46 am)

    So once again it’s time for West Seattle to secede. We (80,000 of us) get no respect from the city, the county, or the state.

  • Rebar Nulu December 9, 2008 (10:30 am)

    You can see the finished product, rebar used to reinforce concrete, on loaded semi trailers leaving the mill at 25th & Andover and making a difficult turn north (left) on Delridge.

  • westseattleite December 9, 2008 (12:02 pm)

    I most definitely will be at the town hall meeting and I hope a lot of other individuals from West Seattle show up also. I feel like this roadway project is being treated like a work of art, park, etc.. and not what it is… a road! Yes, can the viaduct be nicer looking, yes, and I think they can accomplish that, but ulitimately it still needs to move people and goods through the city and we can not assume that everyone can take public transportation or will for that matter. If the commute time from West Seattle to downtown goes from 15-20 minutes to an hour or more this is most definitely going to effect our lives and our home prices.

  • B-Squared December 9, 2008 (3:26 pm)

    I, too, will try to make the Town Hall meeting, and i hope other West Seattlites will show up.
    I also sent an email today to: …… the gist of which:

    The area is now a transportation corridor that sees heavy use, not only from traffic to and from downtown, but as a means of getting through downtown. More and more, I have seen scope-creep diluting and derailing the important issues that should be the fundamental elements of the replacement discussions.

    The discussions SHOULD NOT be about:
    * creating parks or greenspace
    * improving the real estate value for those holding property in the area
    * eliminating noise, or pollution or capacity as those are elements of a functioning transportation corridor
    * creating more commercial retail space

    The discussion SHOULD be about finding a replacement solution that is up-to-date seismically and structurely, with up-dated safety features that maintains capacity and flow. Period. And, the final solution should also not burden the tax payers anymore than necessary to accomplish these fundamental goals.

    In my opinion, a replacement viaduct similar to what is now there is the only reasonable solution. It can be made aesthetically pleasing, safe and possibly quieter. But in the end, it should serve the same function as the present structure.

  • westseattleite December 9, 2008 (5:16 pm)

    Well said B-Squared

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