Eastside Seattle Suburban Rep. Deb Eddy (D-48) tells PubliCola that the House is moving forward with the $4.6 billion "A+" option on 520. The plan, which is opposed by a group including Montlake neighbors—along with House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43) (Montlake is in the 43rd District) and Mayor Mike McGinn—was approved by the Senate last week.

"We will go forward with A+," Eddy emailed during this afternoon's hearing on the 520 bill,

A group of Montlake residents (and surrounding neighborhoods) organized against the plan—six lanes (two for HOV) with two bridges—because the interchanges at Montlake Blvd. and the arboretum will upend the neighborhoods, they say. An alternative option endorsed by neighbors—Option M (also six lanes, but designed for rapid transit)—does away with the second bridge and decreases the imposing footprint of the interchanges.

Eddy says A+ is a go, "insofar as it anticipates lanes, HOV transit, [the] connection at Montlake, as opposed to somewhere else, and bridge configuration height and width."

She explains: "That’s necessary for the Environmental Impact Study to move forward, to get the record of decision for a 2014 opening.  It’s the physical mitigation that remains in issue [and] it’ll get worked out by the end of the year."

The main change to the A+ plan after negotiating with 43rd District Rep. Jamie Pedersen, Eddy says, is a change in oversight. Eddy says rather than having the state department of transportation deal with the transit piece, local transit agencies like Metro and Sound Transit will oversee the plans to ensure a logical transit connection plan between 520 and the UW light rail station.

Chopp's 43rd District colleague, Sen. Ed Murray, one of just three votes against the A+ option in the Senate last week, ridiculed the lack of a cooridinated transit plan between 520 and light rail, and Eddy acknowledges that "Ed is absolutely right about that."
Show Comments