As we reported last night, Seattle Mayor McGinn said the city would be hard-pressed to chip in money to help build a new South Park Bridge. Today, City Councilmembers have issued a statement saying they will “support” the county’s efforts to find money, adding – as the mayor had said yesterday – they “remain open to the possibility of making a contribution to the project from the City.” Read on for their news release (AND, ADDED 4:04 PM, reaction from the King County Executive):
Seattle City Councilmembers today expressed their support for the County’s efforts in seeking funds for the South Park Bridge replacement project.
“The South Park Bridge is a critical connection for multiple neighborhoods and a regional link for freight and transportation,” stated Council President Richard Conlin. “Today we commit to supporting Executive Constantine in every effort to obtain federal funding, including the next round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, as well as pursuing other regional funding options.”
Seattle City Council is committed to being a partner with the Executive and shares the sense of urgency for this vital economic corridor. Recognizing that no one entity can come up with the more than $100 million needed for bridge replacement, City Councilmembers consider regional development of a funding strategy to be imperative and remain open to the possibility of making a contribution to the project from the City.
“We pledge our support in working with King County and other agencies, governments and businesses to identify and secure funding for the South Park Bridge,” added Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “This is a matter of keeping our communities and freight and transportation system in the south end intact.”
“This is not just about regional transportation, but also the South Park neighborhood,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. “While the bridge is a King County facility and the County appropriately is the lead in this project, Seattle cannot just stand by, and we are stepping up to the plate.”
ADDED 4:04 PM: Reaction from King County Executive Dow Constantine, in this news release:
King County Executive Dow Constantine today welcomed the letter he received today from the Seattle City Council pledging assistance in finding funding options for new South Park Bridge:
“I want to thank the Seattle City Council for its strong support of our regional efforts to fund a replacement for the deteriorating South Park Bridge. Their support will aid us in King County’s upcoming application for a federal stimulus grant.
“I also welcome their partnership in the effort to maintain access to this hard-working neighborhood.
“I know the many residents and businesses that depend on the South Park Bridge every day join me in recognizing the City Council members for their leadership.”