The project to repave central NW Market St has been put on pause due to City funding shortages.
The Ballard business community, led by the Ballard Alliance, had been challenging the NW Market Paving project in light of the dire financial situation due to COVID-19 closures. A petition has been circulating to urge the Seattle Department of Transportation to delay the project until local businesses recovered.
Now, it appears the project will be on pause after all, along with several other transportation projects around the City.
In a statement about the postponement, SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe says the department is facing a budget shortfall of $55 million.
“As a result, we must take thoughtful, but immediate action to pause a number of projects as SDOT works to ensure our vision for a more livable, safe and inclusive Seattle still moves forward despite new fiscal realities and timelines,” Zimbabwe said.
Zimbabwe said that some projects will be picked up again in 2021, but it’s possible that some will be abandoned, “if they no longer make sense for the new City we find ourselves in over the coming years.” SDOT will, “prioritize racial and social justice in our transportation system when we develop this criteria.”
Along with the NW Market St paving, here’s a list of some of the other Levy projects paused until January 2021:
Program 1 – Safety Corridors
- Sand Point Way NE: second phase of this project, including new sidewalks, is paused at final design before advertising construction contract
- 23rd Ave E Corridor-Phase 3 (John St to SR-520): project paused at final design before advertising construction contract
Program 2 – Safe Routes to School
- Thornton Creek Elementary School: pause traffic calming work on 40th Ave NE
- North 130th Street & Ashworth Ave North: pause signal work
Program 5 – Bicycle Master Plan
- Alaskan Way: this project was funded to evaluate design of a bike facility connecting the waterfront to the Elliott Bay Trail; planning work is paused
- Georgetown to Downtown: project paused during route evaluation
- MLK Way S between Rainier Ave S and S Henderson St: project paused during analysis of protected bike lane
- SODO Trail: project paused during final design for a SODO trail extension between Forest and Spokane St
- N 40th St spot improvements: this work is paused prior to implementation of bike spot improvements as part of the N 40th St Paving Project
Program 25 – New Sidewalks
- 32nd Ave S: walkway project paused prior to installation
Some of the City’s non-levy projects that have also been put on pause include:
- Center City Connector Streetcar: pause project
- Slurry Sealing: pause contractor-delivered portion of this project until 2021
- Your Voice, Your Choice: pause work until 2021
- Bike rack installations: pause all remaining bike rack installations for 2020 (approx. 40 spaces)
- ST3 Planning and Design: defer Graham St Station Planning in line with ST schedule
- Mercer West technical support: reduce technical support and traffic control to facilitate art installation
- Seawall Maintenance: reduce funding amount not anticipated to be spent in 2020
SDOT has also paused work or has taken vacancy savings in the following Operations and Maintenance programs:
- Commuter Mobility
- Engineering Support
- Operations Support
- Parking and curb space
- Street Use Permit and Enforcement
- Street Cleaning
- Tree and Landscape Maintenance
To read more about SDOT’s project postponement, click here.
Photo: West end of NW Market St construction | Ballard Alliance