June 29, 2018
The Mayor wants a thorough and thoughtful analysis that addresses a range of questions related to the costs of this project. KPMG, which was retained to do the independent review of the Center City Connector Streetcar, has not completed the final report but verbally briefed Mayor Durkan on initial findings on June 19. As part of the briefing, the Mayor asked for a further analysis on technical assumptions, ridership projections, operations and capital costs, and funding options, as well as more detailed information regarding additional alternatives for providing transit connections moving forward.
In addition, she asked for a final technical review by City departments including the City Budget Office, SDOT, Seattle Public Utilities, and Seattle City Light to verify updated ridership projections, material costs and labor, utility relocations and project timelines for a series of options to ensure the final report is accurate for taxpayers. With this additional analysis, KPMG will deliver a final report to the Mayor and Council. It is expected that the work can be completed in the coming weeks that will outline operating and capital costs as well as funding risks for both the utility and streetcar work.
March 30, 2018
On March 30, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan directed the City of Seattle to halt the ongoing projects related to the Center City Connector Streetcar, except for work on seismically vulnerable water mains, pending an independent review. While conducting a preliminary assessment, it was discovered that the proposed project could face a significant capital shortfall. As a result, the City also has initiated an independent investigation of the project’s management to date.
“The City of Seattle has a critical obligation to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and an equal obligation to transparency,” said Mayor Durkan. “There are too many questions about the true costs of this project and the risks to taxpayers, which is why we must put the brakes on this project. As your new Mayor, I will continue to scrub our budgets and act to protect taxpayers.”
Withdrawal: State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) comment period
The Seattle Department of Transportation recently issued a SEPA determination of non-significance (DNS) for the South Lake Union Streetcar Operation and Maintenance Facility Expansion. SDOT determined that the project would not have significant adverse impacts on the environment after review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file with the lead agency. However, following a decision by the City of Seattle to halt project activities, SDOT has decided to withdraw the DNS until further notice. If the project resumes a new notice and comment period will be provided.
Crews working this weekend
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 7 AM – 12 PM
Crews will be working this weekend along 1st Ave between Yesler Way and Columbia St. Work hours are from 7 AM to 12 PM. Crews will be taking water samples in preparation for the August 26 water shutdown. As crews complete this work, please expect typical construction impacts such as increased equipment activity.
Upcoming water shutdown
5 PM, SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – 7 AM, MONDAY, AUGUST 27
A long water shutdown, to hook up portions of the new water main, is scheduled from 5 PM, Sunday, August 26, to 7 AM, Monday, August 27. Customers located on the following streets will be impacted:
- 1st Ave S from S Washington St to S Yesler Way
- 1st Ave from Yesler Way to Columbia St
- Yesler Way from 2nd Ave to Alaskan Way
- Cherry St from 1st Ave to 2nd Ave
Please note: Shutdown times have been coordinated in advance with building managers and representatives who were asked to share the shutdown information with their tenants. If you’re unsure of whether a water shutdown will occur in your building, please contact your property owner or their representative.
What to expect during the shutdown: There will be nighttime construction noise near the work zone (see impacted streets above). Noisy work includes excavation with vacuum trucks and pipe cutting with power saws, and you can also expect typical construction impacts such as increased vibration, dust, truck activity, and exhaust.
What to expect after the shutdown: When you turn your water on for the first time after the shutdown, you may notice that it’s temporarily discolored. If this happens, run the cold water for a few minutes. If the water doesn’t clear, let it sit for 1 to 2 hours and run it again.
If the discoloration doesn’t go away or you experience other problems with your water service, please call SPU’s 24-hour Operations Response Center at (206) 386-1800. Calling SPU is the best way for customers to report a water issue and have it addressed.
On-street parking spots continue to open
Parking has been restored along 1st Ave between S Jackson and S Washington streets. The restored parking includes restrictions during morning and afternoon commute times. As noted on the signs, parking and stopping are not allowed from 6 to 9 AM and 3 to 7 PM.
We’ll continue to consult with the Alliance for Pioneer Square and local businesses on parking plans. The return of on-street parking is temporary while the Center City Connector Streetcar status is being decided. Also, later this summer crews will temporarily remove parking in some locations to restore portions of the median.
- Typical construction hours are 7 AM – 5 PM, Monday – Friday. Construction-related noise may be heard as early as 6:30 AM as crews refuel equipment and begin staging for the day. In August, please expect extended work hours of 7 AM to 7 PM. These extended work hours are necessary for us to complete our work.
- Occasional night and weekend work
Ongoing traffic lane restrictions, street closures, and other impacts
- Temporary closures of southbound 1st Ave between Cherry St and S Jackson St will occur intermittently for the rest of summer
- Northbound 1st Ave lane closures:
- Northbound 1st Ave S between S Washington St and Yesler Way will remain closed until installation of the new water main and drainage is complete at the 1st Ave and Yesler Way intersection in September
- Northbound 1st Ave is closed between Yesler Way and Columbia St 24 hours per day. This long-term closure is accompanied by a southbound curb lane closure between Columbia St and Yesler Way.
- Intermittent lane closures on Cherry St for water main and drainage construction
- Construction staging will remain on the north side of S Main St, west of 1st Ave S, with an additional staging area located on the south side of James St, between Yesler Way and 2nd Ave
- Some parking removal along both sides of 1st Ave between S Washington St and Marion St
- We’re committed to helping people park efficiently. This project includes funding for DowntownSeattleParking.com, a program that makes it easy to find parking availability, rates (some as low as $3/hour), and directions allowing downtown visitors to park in a garage and get to their destination easily on the streetcar.
- Temporary load zone restrictions:
- In the yellow-striped load zone on the north side of S Washington St just east of 1st Ave S
- In the red-striped no parking zone on the north side of S Washington St just west of 1st Ave S
- Expect typical construction impacts such as increased dust, noise, vibration, and truck activity
Other nearby work
STEAM LINE SHUTOFF
Starting as soon as August 22, Enwave will shut off the steam line along 1st Ave S between S Main St and S Washington St to accommodate work in the sewer maintenance holes. Enwave will notify impacted customers. For questions about this work, please contact Andy Weyer at 206-623-6366.
AREAWAY REPAIR ON THE WEST SIDE OF 1ST AVE BETWEEN COLUMBIA AND MARION STREETS
SDOT is repairing an underground areaway adjacent to the Colman Building on the west side of 1st Ave near Marion St. The contractor is nearly finished with this work, and the southbound curb lane will re-open to traffic. Areaways are cavities that were created when the grade level of the street was changed, and typically sidewalks are over the areaways. The areaway foundation walls have deteriorated over time and need repair to prevent them from failing.
Anticipated construction impacts include:
- This work, which began on May 29, is largely complete
- Typical construction hours are 7 AM – 5 PM, Monday – Friday
- 24/7 temporary half-block closure of the western lane of southbound 1st Ave between Marion St and Columbia St for the duration of the areaway repair
- Temporary sidewalk impacts at the southwest corner of 1st Ave and Marion St
- The width of the sidewalk from the UPS store to the north end of the Starbucks Coffee shop will be temporarily reduced for the duration of this construction
- Increased dust, noise, vibration and truck activity
- Access to businesses will be maintained at all times
AREAWAY REPAIR ON THE NORTH SIDE OF COLUMBIA ST BETWEEN 1ST AND POST AVENUES
Areaway repair work began August 6 on the north side Columbia St between 1st and Post avenues. This work consists of filling the areaway under the sidewalk with lightweight concrete fill, replacing the sidewalk above, and improving entryways to businesses on Columbia St.
Schedule and hours:
- Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 5 PM
- Some work may occur at night and/or on weekends to ensure a safe work zone. Advance notification will be provided.
- The project is planned to be complete in September
Pedestrian and vehicle access:
- Access to businesses will be maintained
- No vehicular access to Columbia between 1st and Post avenues
- SR 99 on-ramp will remain open and accessible
- Any pedestrian and vehicular detours will be clearly posted in work zone
Equipment and noise:
- Expect construction equipment and vehicles moving in and out of the work zone
- Construction trucks and equipment may be noisy, with the most significant noise coming from breaking and removing concrete
Street and Right of Way Improvements:
- Improved water, sewer, drainage, electrical, and natural gas services.
- Improvements to all-way scramble intersections at Pike, University, and Cherry streets will designate pedestrian crossings more clearly.
- Improvements at all intersections and corners will enhance the pedestrian experience and ensure ADA access.
- The new streetcar will run every 5 minutes at peak times and will connect more people to 1st Ave to live, work, shop, and play.
How will businesses be supported during this work?
We’re committed to working closely with impacted businesses and residents during construction:
- Crews will maintain business access throughout construction
- Creative signage will help direct customers to businesses
- The Small Business Development team at the Office of Economic Development has business consulting services available to support small businesses along the route
- We’ll keep neighbors informed through email updates, flyering, signage, a 24-hour hotline and more
Center City Connector 24/7 Construction hotline: (206) 400-7578
Email: [email protected]