July 11, 2:27 PM click here to comment > 2
Mayor and Council commit $3 million to repaving local streets
As you may have noticed, potholes were particularly bad this year. It’s a combination of factors – bad weather with a lot of quick freezing and unfreezing play a big part – but the main problem is that government at all levels have been deferring maintenance on our local streets for over 30 years. The Bridging the Gap levy helped, but declining revenues and bad weather have put us behind again. But just patching potholes isn’t enough. To reduce potholes, we need to make longer lasting repairs to our roads.
Recognizing the seriousness of this maintenance backlog, Mayor McGinn, Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin, and Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Jean Godden today jointly announced that the City will commit $3 million to fund additional roadway work in 2011. The commitment will provide a 33 percent boost in 2011 street repair funding, preventing the elimination of 21 positions in the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) while also providing a small increase for bike improvements.
The funds will come from the sale of the Rubble Yard, located at Sixth Avenue North and Harrison Street to the Washington State Department of Transportation for $19.8 million. The sale of the yard, previously used by SDOT for material staging and temporary debris storage, provides funds that can be used only for transportation purposes.
By adding nearly $3 million to the originally budgeted $8.264 million for street work, the Mayor and City Council expect to significantly enhance SDOT’s ability to repair streets and roads in 2011. The decision funds more major street surface repairs, allowing 15 to 20 more improvement projects such as concrete panel replacement or resurfaced asphalt segments. It also adds resources to SDOT’s pothole repair budget, enabling the department to fix approximately 5,000 more potholes. Over the first six months of 2011 SDOT has filled 19,850 potholes, spending 70 percent of its pothole budget. The $3 million also provides funding for curb and pavement markings, and bicycle spot improvements.
Thank you to our partners at the State of Washington – this work is a priority for the public, our business community and the Mayor and City Council.
Check out the video of our press conference after the jump:
Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance