Photo: Waterfront Seattle
The Alaskan Way Seawall project is over budget. Again. As King 5 News reports:
Voters approved a bond measure in 2012 to pay for $290 million of repair to the quake-prone seawall and for waterfront improvements. It was promised that the measure would fully fund the first phase of the seawall.
But soon thereafter the project was budgeted at $300 million.
Quietly, that number rose in 2013 to a bit more than $330 million.
And now, according to Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly, the project’s cost has ballooned to $409 million, more than 33 percent above the original price tag. Speaking to King 5, Kubly admitted that his department had underestimated the true cost and time needed to make the repair:
“For us to work within our budget, we were going to have to have everything go right. And you know what? Not everything has gone right. We’ve had a lot of risk items materialize,” said Kubly.
The new cost will most likely be funded by commercial parking taxes, real estate excise taxes, waterfront parking revenue and a waterway fund. Mayor Ed Murray is now bringing in third party consultants to review the project and the ever-increasing budget.
Although the waterfront has multiple wheels in motion like the Viaduct replacement program and the exhaustive tunneling project, it seems Seattle’s Elliott Bay will continue to be an integral piece of the city’s history.