Just 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).