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City Council Considers Waterfront Plan

Ann Dornfeld

The Seattle City Council meets Monday to consider the latest plan to remake the city's waterfront once the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down. The 420–million–dollar proposal would bring a range of parks, promenades and improvements to the waterfront and adjacent streets.


Mark Reddington is a Seattle architect and a member of the Central Waterfront Committee. He says the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been seriously cramping the city's style. It's been keeping all that downtown energy from flowing to the water.

Now that the Viaduct is coming down, Reddington says, it's time for Seattle to move the party to the waterfront.

Mark Reddington: "What this offers is a chance for Seattle to sort of reframe the hierarchy of public life in downtown."

The waterfront wouldn't just be the place you head once or twice a year to catch a ferry or take out–of–towners to the Sculpture Park. It'd be where you'd launch your kayak, rollerskate by the bay, or even swim laps in a saltwater pool on a barge.

A new pathway would stretch from Pioneer Square to Belltown with gardens, boardwalks, plazas and beaches along the way.

If this all sounds like a pricey plan, Reddington says, you're not alone.

Mark Reddington: "That has been one of the questions in the past as people have seen the designs, is that it looks big and expensive. Almost 60 percent of the funding is either currently in place or pending. So a lot of it is already underway."

That 60 percent of the funding comes from the money already set aside for the viaduct replacement and the money from a seawall replacement bond that Seattle voters have yet to approve.

The waterfront plan would require another $420 million from public and private sources. The City Council will consider the proposal at a meeting this afternoon.

I'm Ann Dornfeld, KUOW News.

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