Go to the politics section for more local and national politics coverage.

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 8, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Neighborhood group sues over Highway 520 design plan

Posted by Mike Lindblom

The Coalition for a Sustainable SR 520 has filed a lawsuit that accuses the state Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration of softpedaling the effects of a planned replacement bridge.

Seattle environmental attorney David Bricklin filed the papers Friday in federal court. That was the last day to challenge an environmental-impact statement that FHWA approved in early August. Bricklin's five-page, broadly worded complaint cites the statement's "failure to describe the project's unavoidable significant adverse impacts."

WashDOT has already hired builders for the east shore and floating bridge sections, but is at least $2 billion short of funding the Seattle landing.

"We are not opposed to a six lane bridge, but we are opposed to starting something the state can't finish," says Fran Conley, who coordinates the coalition of neighborhood and boating advocates.

In particular, she says, the proposed Montlake lid would carry hundreds of buses per day, ruining its purpose as a green refuge. State design drawings also depict approximately 160 feet width near Foster Island, so transit trains could be added someday in addition to the motor-vehicle lanes.

Over the last few months, the state has pointed to several changes made to reduce blight on neighbors and the city: a narrowed, 45 mph Portage Bay segment with landscaping, and lowering the floating deck from 30 feet to 20 feet in height. "We're confident we've been thorough and complete," said project spokeswoman Suanne Pelley.

The $4.65 billion project has been debated since 1997 and more than $263 million is already spent for design, engineering and public process.

A tax increase or tolls from nearby I-90 (currently banned by law, and opposed by Tim Eyman's I-1125) would be needed to finish the whole project from Seattle to Redmond.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

This article reads like a press release for WSDOT. 'Broadly worded environmental lawsuit' is a clever way to discount the rightful...  Posted on September 10, 2011 at 8:57 AM by bayshore. Jump to comment

Recent entries




Browse the archives

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011


Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.