Seattle City Council Leaning Towards Pacific Interchange

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It’s beyond my understanding that the Seattle City Council is seriously considering officially supporting the Pacific Interchange, given its impacts on the Arboretum (outlined in the draft EIS) and Madison Park. But that’s the crux of this Seattle PI article from 4 October, reporting on a "public forum lasting nearly three hours, [where] many of the more than 200
people attending either praised or blasted a six-lane alternative for
the aging floating bridge." [Also, see the Council press release.]

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520 Bridge Update

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The Seattle Times reports that the six-lane option is "gaining ground" … which seems like such a "doh" that I hestitate to even note it. Of course, six lanes are more expensive than four – on many levels – and the PI reports that a panel is evaluating funding options for SR520 as well as overhaul of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

520 Bridge – Proposed Pacific Interchange

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Notes: Presentation to UW Senate.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WashDOT) will release the SR
520 project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) mid-summer. Because
there is only a 60-day comment period, this meeting is the last
opportunity for the Senate to hear about the
proposed expansion of SR 520.

WashDOT is evaluating a six lane alternative, which would add two dedicated HOV lanes. The Pacific Street Interchange — which was part of a proposal by BetterBridge.org — has gained traction with WashDOT as an addition/change to the original six lane proposal. Arial View.

This Pacific Street Interchange would result in the closure of the current Montlake exit/onramp at Shelby-Hamlin.  WashDOT would build a new offramp that terminates in the Husky Stadium Parking Lot. [Note: WashDot has rejected the suspension bridge portion of the Better Bridge proposal.]

These links show WashDOT’s latest interpretation of the Pacific Street
Interchange. (very large,
cropped) Note the "lid" over the interchange, which appears to be
larger than Husky Stadium football field.
The offramp is eight lanes; Montlake would be six lanes north to 45th.

This proposal:

  1. Has a negative impact on the Washington Park Arboretum.
  2. Increases traffic volumes on neighborhood streets around the
    University.
  3. Has a significant and negative impact on the long term development capacity of
    the University.

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