Seattle’s Lander Street Overpass project wins $45 million federal grant
Seattle’s Lander Street Overpass project wins a $45 million federal grant, a step toward possible construction in 2018.
Source: Seattle Times
Seattle’s long-awaited Lander Street Overpass has won a $45 million federal grant, sustaining the city’s momentum to build the five-lane span this decade.
The grant, announced Tuesday, covers most of the $55 million the city requested, and brings total money on hand to $100 million, for an estimated $140 million project in Sodo, just south of a container port and Safeco and CenturyLink fields. The remainder might be gleaned from city, state, port or BNSF Railway sources.
About 11,000 vehicles a day cross the tracks at Lander, while 3,200 freight and passenger-rail cars travel the north-south line. The street is closed an average 4½ hours a day.
Some $20 million in seed money for Lander is included in the $930 million Move Seattle property-tax levy that voters approved last fall.
Tuesday’s award was announced by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., a longtime enthusiast for ports and freight infrastructure, who created a national freight fund. Northwest freight traffic could double in 20 years, her staff says.
A figure like that presumes the ports of Seattle and Tacoma compete against the widened Panama Canal, and dock expansions in British Columbia.
Cantwell said the Lander overpass reduces the “last-mile issue,” where cargo from across the city, or across the country, can be stalled blocks from Elliott Bay. Washington is the nation’s most trade-dependent state.
“We’re seeing population growth and a 50 percent increase in the middle class outside the U.S.,” Cantwell said. “So that’s where the economic opportunity is.”
An additional $5 million will be awarded to Tukwila, to help widen Strander Boulevard where it crosses under the railway.
Nationwide, a total $700 million was awarded to 18 projects, out of 250 to 300 applications, Cantwell said.
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