If you’re keeping track of the potential cost of repairing/replacing the West Seattle Bridge, this afternoon SDOT is out with details of what you might call the down-payment costs:
SDOT is looking into all possible federal, state, and local ways to fund repairs or replacement of the High-Rise Bridge and ensure they are resourced to do what’s best for West Seattle and the surrounding region for the long-term. In the meantime, however, SDOT has an immediate need for additional revenues to carry out critical stabilization work and move other efforts forward simultaneously without missing a beat. To do this, SDOT is advancing legislation to the City Council that will:
-Authorize a $70 million interfund loan to cover 2020 and early 2021 costs related to the West Seattle Bridge Program
=Establish a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that outlines funding estimates for the first two years of work for the West Seattle Bridge Program
The interfund loan legislation will provide the needed cashflow to cover West Seattle Bridge Program expenses in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 as SDOT works to secure other significant funding opportunities.
SDOT estimates spending between $160 million and $225 million over 2020-2021 on the West Seattle Bridge Program. There is still a great deal of uncertainty around the West Seattle Bridge Program needs and this range represents the best understood cost estimates at the current time. These costs include expenses related to
=Bridge monitoring and testing
-Emergency stabilization repairs
-Planning and design costs for repair or replacements
-Low Bridge monitoring and maintenance
-Traffic and travel mitigation projects including Reconnect West Seattle projects.
Currently, the CIP only goes through 2021 and does not include all of the potential West Seattle Bridge repair or replacement related costs.
SDOT will continue to refine the project costs for this CIP. Once the repair or replace decision process is completed, they will evaluate and update the CIP project description as options are further refined, as well as cost estimate
The $70 million interfund loan would be borrowed from the City’s cash pool and be repaid by SDOT with a $100 million bond sale in 2021. Any needed spending above $100 million through 2021 will be supported by a separate interfund loan, to be established, if necessary, sometime in early 2021.
City Council will be considering this legislation in September. SDOT is hopeful that both the CIP and interfund loan will be approved so that they can continue our immediate response efforts, keep all options for repair or replace moving forward, and fund needed traffic mitigation projects through Reconnect West Seattle.
City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s most-recent newsletter has a few more specifics – including exactly which sources that $70 million would come from.
Meantime, a reminder – the next WS Bridge Community Task Force meeting is at noon tomorrow; here’s how to watch/listen.