City council narrows in on 520 replacement option
THE CHOICE OF A NEW DESIGN FOR THE 40 YEAR OLD BRIDGE HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING. TRANSPORTATION AND ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN STUDYING THE ISSUE FOR SOME NINE YEARS.
CITY COUNCILMAN RICHARD CONLIN SAYS SEATTLE AND EASTSIDE OFFICIALS HAVE COME TOGETHER IN AGREEMENT ON THE SIX-LANE PACIFIC INTERCHANGE OPTION. HOWEVER, HE SAYS THE DESIGN WILL NEED TO BE ALTERED TO MEET SEVERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERNS.
CONLIN: "There are a lot of things that we're recommending as mitigations for the arboretum. We've also listened carefully to the neighborhoods in terms of noise impacts. There are noise walls and quiet pavements proposed as part of the change in the system. And we've looked at other ways in which traffic impacts and neighborhood impacts are most appropriately managed."
BUT TED LANE OF THE ROANOKE COMMUNITY COUNCIL SAYS AT LEAST SEVEN NEIGHBORHOODS IN THE AREA OPPOSE THE CURRENT DESIGN PLANS. HE WANTS TO SEE A NEW DESIGN THAT INCLUDES THE PROPOSED CHANGES.
LANE: "We're going to have to have an alternative designed that shows what would the Pacific Interchange look like if all those changes were made. Right now it just says, you know, 'WashDOT will try to, will attempt to, will do as much as they possibly can.' But we don't really know what it's going to look like."
TWO LANES OF THE NEW BRIDGE WILL BE DEDICATED FOR HOV AND TRANSIT. CONLIN SAYS THAT WILL REDUCE BUS COMMUTE TIMES BETWEEN THE EASTSIDE AND DOWNTOWN SEATTLE TO ABOUT 18 MINUTES. THE DESIGN ALSO FEATURES A HIGH RISE BRIDGE CONNECTING 520 DIRECTLY TO HUSKY STADIUM.
THE COUNCIL WILL LIKELY VOTE ON THE PLAN NEXT MONTH. LIZ JONES, KUOW NEWS.
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