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City of Seattle

January 14, 10:37 AM click here to comment > 12

Mayor proposes plan to replace deteriorating seawall

SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn today announced his intention to put a ballot measure before Seattle voters to raise funds to replace the deteriorating seawall along the waterfront.

“The current plan leaves the existing seawall in place for far too long,” said McGinn. “Replacing our deteriorating seawall, before it fails, is one of the basic needs for our city. One of the first briefings I had during the transition was on the seawall. It was alarming. The current plan will not see the completion of a new seawall for at least another six years. Based on what I know now, that’s not good enough.”

Approximately 50 percent of the existing wall is damaged and there is a one in ten chance of seawall failure within the next ten years. A seawall failure would also likely bring down the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

“We know we have a major problem,” said McGinn. “It would be irresponsible to not address this basic issue of public safety immediately.”

McGinn announced his plan to put an approximately $250 million 30-year bond before city voters. The property tax measure will raise 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. It will cost the owner of a $400,000 home about $48 per year.

The current state plan for viaduct replacement does not cover replacing the existing seawall.

The mayor will send his proposal to the City Council in February, to hold a special election on May 18.

Please click here for a financial plan summary and please click here for a presentation on the seawall.

Seattle Channel video of today’s press conference:

Seattle Channel Video can be played in Flash Player 9 and up

Posted by: Aaron Pickus, Spokesperson


Comment from Janice Sonju
Time January 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I can’t believe Mayor McGinn’s first weeks in office and he is already asking for tax money. I am barely making my house payment now, and have not been able to make my last property tax payment from October of 2009, and he wants to add this additional burden to me and everyone else that is struggling so hard just to put food on the table for our kids. My water bill is barely paid, my electric has not been paid for months and months, and I did not have a xmas for my kids. How dare he even think of asking for money right now in this economy. Shame on you Mr. McGinn, and to think I voted for you because I thought he was for the normal working person.

Comment from Matt the Engineer
Time January 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

[Janice] I just don’t understand anti-taxers. Ignoring the hundreds of lives this may save, this $48 a year will go directly into a local construction project (creating jobs). I’m sorry about your situation, but it sounds like you have a situation that $48 is not going to fix.

Let’s give you the mayor hat. You’ve got a seawall that needs fixing immediately or people will die. How would you solve this problem without raising taxes?

Comment from Kyle
Time January 15, 2010 at 11:56 am

I’d really like to see the city’s budget out of the red before proposing more taxes and more projects. I think that should be one of the first news articles out of the McGinn administration, not asking for new money. I’m disappointed to say the least.

Comment from chris from west seattle
Time January 19, 2010 at 1:48 am

Its a public safety issue and unless you want the waterfront to come up to 1st ave I think this needs to be addressed. $48 lets see thats .92 cents a week…There could be Federal help with as well.

Comment from T Farley
Time January 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I find it interesting that this was part of the plan of the underground tunnel at one time. Dealing with both at the same time with less money overall. Yet it is not being looked at again.

Comment from smotoooo
Time January 23, 2010 at 8:42 am

Ah, excuse me, but the sea wall issue is already an issue that has been dealt with along with the tunnel. This smacks of the old “divide and conquor” routine. Sorry Mike, we all know the anti tunnel stance was the heart of your campaign until the very end when you realized you were pulling dead weight. Hizonner hasn’t realized, being the political neophyte he is that the council runs this city. I’ll give him an A for allowing parking near light rail, though. Thanks.

Comment from lawrence sciortino
Time January 23, 2010 at 10:04 am

re. January 23rd Times article by the Mayor:

Makes perfect sense, keep up the good work, Mayor McGinn. Lawrence Sciortino

Comment from Bob Pierce
Time January 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

Mayor McGinn, No I don’t trust you and because of your tunnel stance and flip on the issue. A public safety issue of this great magnitude should be done and you should take the heat for how it’s done. That’s responsible politics. For you to make this your first issue is very suspicious. You’ll need alot of backup information because your word is suspect.

Comment from George
Time January 23, 2010 at 11:51 am

I firmly believe you are correct, How do I send my $48 credit card payment? Re-build the sea wall and who knows, maybe this will stabilize the viaduct footings?

Comment from Marie Hoffman
Time January 25, 2010 at 11:16 am

Finally! Someone with common sense to do
what is necessary without spending millions of
taxpayers money on fruitless studies year after year without a solution. Does the Seawall
have to collapse and someone die before some action is taken? Look at the millions we have spent on Viaduct studies and making repairs when we could have solved the problem twenty years ago!! And while I am on my soapbox, why doesn’t the Legislature return the money from the Lottery that was voted in for the schools and education??How dare they put the money into the general fund and spend it on their pet projects and ignoring the voters wished to help Education?? For shame!!
Thank you for reading my comments.

Comment from Arian
Time May 11, 2010 at 7:25 am

Issues like these should always be address as soon as they become a problem. Far too often you hear on the news that structures collapsed because city workers or businesses fail to maintain them. I am really glad that the mayor sees this as an issue, and is willing to address it sooner than later.

Comment from Robert Zappone News
Time September 24, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Stellar site and theme, would really like to see a bit more media though! One of my favorite subjects… Then again my site hasn’t much either – Great post all around, added your RSS feed! Cheers