(Seattle, WA) Mayor Mike McGinn transmitted to the City Council the Broadway/Jackson route as the preferred option for the First Hill Streetcar project. Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) recommended the Broadway/Jackson route late last month as the best alignment for the First Hill Streetcar.

(Seattle, WA) Mayor Mike McGinn transmitted to the City Council the Broadway/Jackson route as the preferred option for the First Hill Streetcar project. Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) recommended the Broadway/Jackson route late last month as the best alignment for the First Hill Streetcar.

 

If approved by the City Council, construction would begin in 2011, creating new construction jobs in the near term and supporting economic development over the long term when operations begin in late 2013.

 

The recommended alignment is consistent with the origins and history of the First Hill Streetcar project. Ten years ago this month, the Seattle City Council approved a route for Sound Transit’s Central Link Light Rail project that was to include a First Hill Station on Madison Street, near Broadway. As the light rail project advanced, the costs and risks of a deep bored tunnel and light rail station under First Hill emerged as a concern for the Sound Transit Board and for the Federal Transit Administration, the major funding partner for Central Link Light Rail. In 2006, the Sound Transit Board deleted the First Hill station from the Sound Move plan, and authorized study of alternative means of connecting First Hill to the regional transit system. A streetcar connector operating primarily on Broadway and Jackson emerged as the preferred alternative means of connecting First Hill to the regional transit system.

 

The Broadway/Jackson route is estimated to cost approximately $125 million, comfortably within the maximum Sound Transit funding limit of $132.8 million, and will provide an efficient and accessible new transit option. 

 

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