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July 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Port so far unmoved by city, county offer to help freight traffic

A day after Seattle and King County suggested helping to pay for several road improvements in Sodo, mostly for freight trucks, the Port of Seattle won’t say whether it would share in the cost.

Too soon to answer that, Port spokesman Peter McGraw said Wednesday morning.

City and county staffers said Tuesday their agencies are willing to contribute money to 13 projects, estimated to cost about $25 million. A Tuesday letter to the Port outlined the projects but did not include specifics on how to fund them. But the intent, say county and city officials, is for the Port, city and King County to share the costs.

“We appreciate the letter. A commitment by the city and county to funding the improvements will be essential,” Port spokesman Peter McGraw said Wednesday morning. “We need to see some kind of plan. We don’t see that in the letter.”

The proposal from Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine — both advocating construction of a new pro-basketball and hockey arena in Sodo — does not appear to soften the Port of Seattle’s opposition to the project. The Port’s chief complaint has been that arena traffic will hinder the flow of Port traffic.

The Port wants a full environmental review, including alternate sites, before local governments sign on to move the arena plan forward.

Investor Chris Hansen, along with Steve Ballmer and Peter and Erik Nordstrom, propose a $490 million, 18,500-seat arena at First Avenue South and South Holgate Street. It would be built mainly be private funds, and $200 million in public bonds that are supposed to be paid off using arena-generated revenues. (Their Sonicsarena.com website is linked here.)

Some  of the street projects listed in Tuesday’s letter were proposed a decade ago, McGraw points out. The list doesn’t include a South Lander Street overpass, thought to cost $200 million. 

 

 

 

Comments | Topics: arena, Chris Hansen, Mayor Mike McGinn

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