Mayor sends seawall proposal to Council

11 03 2010

3/2/2010 
Bond measure to accelerate replacement of deteriorating seawall

SEATTLE � Mayor Mike McGinn today transmitted to the City Council his legislative proposal to place a bond measure on the May ballot to accelerate design and construction on the deteriorating waterfront seawall.

The design and construction of the existing seawall did not take into account seismic events. Approximately 50 percent of the timber relieving platform that supports the seawall and street is significantly damaged because of age, tidal erosion, the 2001 Nisqually earthquake and subsequent harm by marine borers. A 2002 study by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) indicated that only 10 percent of the structure’s cap beams were fully intact.

There is now a one in ten chance that the seawall will fail within the next ten years from seismic forces associated with earthquakes of the magnitude experienced in our region.

“We have a responsibility to address basic public safety risks.” said McGinn. “I have directed SDOT to accelerate replacement of the seawall. I look forward to working with the Council on the financing for this critical work.”

Based on the current accelerated schedule that the mayor is proposing, SDOT anticipates a funding gap of nearly $20 million in 2011 for the Seawall Replacement Project. In order for work on this critical project to continue, this 2011 funding gap needs to be addressed in 2010. The mayor’s proposal meets that need, as well as the ability to accelerate the project when financing is secured.

Read the Mayor’s Seawall Proposal Letter to City Council (PDF format)

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