Please see our project folio (Fall 2016) for updates on the Center City Connector.
Environmental Assessment Update
In March 2016, the City and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) completed an environmental assessment (EA) that evaluated potential impacts of the Center City Connector Streetcar. The EA was published on May 9, 2016 and a 30-day public comment period ended on June 8, 2016. The EA satisfies the requirements for both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). This concluded the NEPA and SEPA public review periods and SEPA appeal period. However, there are a few more steps needed to complete both the NEPA and SEPA environmental processes:
- To complete NEPA, the FTA will review the City's response to comments on the EA and documentation of new information or project changes. If the FTA concludes that no further analysis is required, this information will be incorporated into a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI will be published in the Federal Register and posted on the project website.
- To complete SEPA, changes to the project will be documented through a SEPA Addendum. The SEPA Addendum will have a 15-day public comment period.
- The City anticipates that FTA will issue a FONSI and SDOT will issue a SEPA Addendum by early 2017.
You can read the EA and legal notices online at: Seattle Center City Connector Environmental Assessment.
Since the publication of the EA, Center City Connector design has advanced and additional utility work on 1st Avenue has been identified. This information will be incorporated into the FONSI and SEPA Addendum. The Center City Connector Streetcar team will be communicating updates on the project by email, at community events and fairs, and directly to businesses, residents, and property owners along the alignment.
Center City Connector Environmental Assessment
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announce the availability of the Center City Connector Environmental Assessment (EA) for public review and comment. The EA examines potential effects of the project on the natural and built environments. The EA has been prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and is being adopted to support a Determination of Non-significance (DNS) to satisfy the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) (Ch. 43.21 RCW, SMC 25.05.610(B)). FTA is the lead federal agency for NEPA and SDOT is the lead agency for SEPA.
A 30-day public review period began on Monday, May 9, 2016. NEPA and SEPA public review ran concurrently. SDOT is working closely with the FTA to complete the environmental review process (NEPA and SEPA), and issue their findings in early 2017.
Center City Connector
The City of Seattle is building a modern streetcar system that will provide new urban mobility options, support economic growth and strengthen connections among the places where people live, work and socialize. The Center City Connector is a segment of Seattle's streetcar system that will link the South Lake Union and First Hill Streetcar lines, creating a system that will connect over a dozen Seattle neighborhoods in Seattle's Center City. By linking existing streetcar investments, the Connector will provide a streetcar system that is highly legible, easy-to-use for a variety of trip purposes, and that serves major visitor destinations, employment centers and areas where the city is experiencing significant growth. The streetcar system is projected to carry more than 20,000 average weekday riders.
The Center City Connector will serve the City of Seattle's three inter-modal hub areas: Westlake Intermodal Hub, Colman Dock Intermodal Hub, and King Street Intermodal Hub. The Connector will also provide convenient transfers to: the Third Avenue transit corridor at both ends of downtown Seattle; Link Light Rail at multiple downtown transit tunnel stations; Sounder Commuter Rail at King Street Station; and ferry and water taxi docks.
Project Development and Funding
In June 2014, the Seattle City Council approved the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Center City Connector via Resolution 31526. In July 2014, the Federal Transit Administration approved the City of Seattle's request for entry into project development (See FTA Letter). SDOT submitted the City's Small Starts Application for the project in Fall 2015. In February 2016, the FTA announced President Obama's Fiscal Year 2017 budget, which proposes a $75M grant to fund the Center City Connector. This announcement signaled a major funding milestone for this keystone line of Seattle's streetcar system. SDOT has identified new project team leadership to design and construct the project in close coordination with community stakeholders.
Please stay tuned for more information, and again, please sign up here to receive news and updates on the Center City Connector Streetcar project.
For additional information about the EA, contact the Seattle Streetcar at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 615-1070.