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Port of Seattle, 2005. (Photo: Steve Johnson)

Port of Seattle, 2005. (Photo: Steve Johnson)


Port Studies Predict Arena Would Slow Freight

Ann Dornfeld

New studies commissioned by the Port of Seattle predict that traffic from the proposed Sodo sports arena would have a major impact on freight mobility.


Port officials have been outspoken critics of the arena proposal from the start. But the objections have been criticized as vague and too focused on the increased level of freight traffic the Port hopes to achieve in years to come — not today.

Three new Port–commissioned studies of economics, operations and land use aim to strengthen the Port's case.

One report predicts an additional 4,000 truck trips a day if cargo volume at the Port reaches the 25–year goal. That report calls the traffic study commissioned by arena backers "simplistic" compared to the environmental impact statements prepared for the Kingdome, Key Arena and Safeco Field.

Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess says he thinks the Port did a good job of fleshing out its objections to the arena plan. But he says the council is already working to protect maritime jobs at the Port and manufacturing and industrial jobs in Sodo.

Tim Burgess: "They are the historic job sectors that got our city going, and we want to protect those just as much as the Port does. And I think the due diligence we've been doing at the council, and, you know, our focus on advancing this initiative with those kind of protections in place, I think is a possibility."

Burgess says the council is amending the agreement to require an environmental impact statement as well as a review of alternative arena sites.

Burgess says the City Council may vote on the arena plan by the end of the month, but he says a September vote is more likely.

The King County Council approved the arena plan last week.

I'm Ann Dornfeld, KUOW News.

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