In yet another example of government incompetence, King 5 News has reported that the Seattle Seawall Project will exceed the promised timeline by one year. The project will now be completed in 2017—or so the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) says—rather than in 2016. And, of course, it’s not just the time that has gone over expectations. Seattle officials have admitted that the project budget will increase by 33%, going up from $290 million to $409 million.
The admission from the SDOT is especially embarrassing considering the fact that the transit agency has “hailed the project as a shining example of how it can handle major projects.” Officials had insisted the project would be completed on time and on budget—even though they’ve quietly raised the price of the project since voters first approved the project in 2012. King 5,
“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.
“Now Kubly says it will take $409 million — more than 33% over the original budget — to complete. He also says it will take an additional year to build and won’t be completed until 2017.”
Seattle officials do not believe that the delay or cost overruns will require “new taxes.” Officials claim that “enough tax money currently sits ‘unallocated,’ and they plan to bond against it, in effect locking-in tax rates for years.” The Washington Policy Center,
“This raises questions as to what programs officials plan to cut to cover the additional costs. KING 5 reported Seattle officials are considering diverting money away from future transportation projects and road maintenance to increase spending on the Seawall Project.”
SDOT Director Scott Kubly has promised to root out “mismanagement” associated with the project and “respond appropriately.” Somehow, we don’t see that actually happening.
Given the history of transportation projects in our state (the Highway 99 project fiasco and Sound Transit’s light rail debacles), this latest example of government incompetence should come as no surprise. Though it may not be surprising, it is certainly frustrating.
Clay Fitzgerald says
That is the most succinct and accurate commentary regarding the state of transportation projects in Seattle and the entire state. This applies mostly to the Seattle and the Puget Sound metropolitan areas particularly with the tunnel, 520 bridge, seawall, light rail, ‘Link’ light rail, the 405 “hot lanes” and totally ignoring of the state of I-5 through Seattle that seems to be in a nearly perpetual traffic jam in at least one direction and the extremely poor condition of the roadway surfaces for so much of it.
That is the most succinct and accurate commentary regarding the state of transportation projects in Seattle and the entire state.
Actually, it completely ignored the $820M pork boondoggle in Spokane, which will drain money from real transportation needs, such as repairs on I-5.
Clay Fitzgerald says
The subject of the article was the SDOT seawall replacement project. Whatever is happening in Spokane is totally and completely irrelevant to the subject of this article.
I was making the commentary regarding other transportation projects in the state and if the project you refer to is true, which I’ve no reason to doubt, that just adds further evidence to back my contention.
The subject of the article was the SDOT seawall replacement project.
A careful reading of the title shows it starts with the word “Another,” and the text goes on to mention the SR-99 tunnel and Sound Transit.
Whatever is happening in Spokane is totally and completely irrelevant to the subject of this article.
The common thread of SR-99, Sound Transit, and the Spokane freeway pork boondoggle is that King County’s taxpayers will foot the bill for all three. You’re right in one aspect: the Spokane pork project differs from the others, in that King County’s taxpayers will see little to no benefit from our expenditure there.
Clay Fitzgerald says
But the what is happening in Spokane is, again, totally irrelevant to Seattle transportation projects.
WSDOT is in charge of the SR-99 tunnel, maintaining I-5, and (now) delivering pork for a politician’s re-election in Spokane. Your faith in these projects not impacting each other is far greater than mine.
Clay Fitzgerald says
Why even try? An article can mention a pothole ridden road at University place and he’ll blame Spokane.
Why, it’s almost like a dollar spent in one place can’t be simultaneously spent in another!
Clay Fitzgerald says
I gave up. Obtuseness is difficult to deal with.
Maybe they’ll cut the funding for bike lanes and freak flag crosswalks to make up for the shortfall. HAHAHA!! Who am I trying to kid? Those are top priority. There will never be another pothole fixed inside the Seattle city limits is more like it.
Your complaining about a supposed lack of street repairs might have more legitimacy if you hadn’t first complained about the street repairs which were — very visibly! — made.
What “street repairs” did the bike lanes make? What damage was fixed by green paint? Does costing 10+ times as much as white gridlines make the freak flag crosswalks a 10+ times better “repair”?
What damage was fixed by green paint?
The damage was the prior erosion of the cross-walk markings by the large numbers of heavy construction vehicles, used in erecting some of the many new residential buildings (complete with street-level restaurant spaces) in the heart of Seattle. The rainbow colors were the repair. (I’m sorry if you couldn’t see these bright markings.)
Does costing 10+ times as much as white gridlines make the freak flag crosswalks a 10+ times better “repair”?
While I could amuse myself by asking you for the source of your figure, I’m really not that interested in the contents of your body cavities. Here’s the actual figure:
The crosswalks are being installed at six intersections totaling 11 different crosswalks on E Pine and E Pike from Broadway to 11th Ave. At around $72,600 total, the crosswalk project comes in at around $56,000 more than standard white-line crosswalks would have. Crews also have given the standard white-line walks at other intersections along this stretch of Pike/Pine a much-needed repaint. The maintenance work is being paid for by developer fees, city officials at the event said Tuesday.
Since no one has the time required for you to do the math, I’ll simply note the rainbow cross-walks cost ~ 4.3 times what the white-stripe crosswalks did. Do we here in Seattle think this was a good use of developer fees? You can ask us during your next profitable business trip!
Maybe we could take the $820M slated for Spokane’s pork freeway boondoggle, and apply it to real transportation needs in an economically productive part of the state?
Nah, let’s just keep complaining. That will solve all of our traffic problems!
Go back and read the article very slowly. I can translate it into crayon if that would help. SDOT is the Seattle Department of Transportation. That’s what those letters stand for. If it’s the state-wide agency you’re confused about, that one has a W at beginning, because Washington starts with a W. Last time I checked, Spokane isn’t inside the Seattle City limits. No longer being a Seattle resident (thankfully), I didn’t get to vote NO on the seawall project. It’s all on you chumps. Don’t worry though, the freak flag crosswalks and bike lanes are safe. Seattle motorists will pick up the seawall overrun tab for you.
Go back and read the article very slowly.
While we can have little doubt about your expertise as a very slow reader, comprehension might also increase if you could find the time to make it almost all of the way to the end:
…the Highway 99 project fiasco and Sound Transit’s light rail ..
For your edification, SDOT is in charge of neither SR-99 nor Sound Transit.
No longer being a Seattle resident (thankfully), I didn’t get to vote NO on the seawall project.
Thank you. The Seawall, unlike the Spokane pork boondoggle, is actually necessary. (Your fellow citizens might appreciate If you could see your way to not voting on anything else, either.)
Don’t worry though, the freak flag crosswalks and bike lanes are safe.
Yes, bicycles and pedestrians are an important part of Seattle’s transportation methods.
Seattle motorists will pick up the seawall overrun tab for you.
Still clinging to your party-line denial of your glorious socialistic motoring subsidies, eh comrade? The next time Seattle’s extremely favorable business climate brings you here to make more money than you can in conservative parts of our state, please enjoy King County voters’ subsidy of your lifestyle choices!