Port of Seattle commissioners voted to invest an additional $17.2 million in the East Marginal Way grade separation project, a crucial freight mobility improvement in South Seattle.
The action brings to the total port investment to $18.8 million.
“For the Port to move more cargo and create more jobs, we must have a transportation system that can handle the growth,” said Commission President Bill Bryant. “This investment demonstrates the Port’s ongoing commitment to an efficient transportation system in Washington state.”
Improvements to East Marginal Way are part of a broader effort to improve freight mobility in the area. The larger plan includes improvements to the Spokane Street corridor and the eventual replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Other funding sources for the $50 million project include federal grants, the Transportation Improvement Board, the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB), and contributions from the City of Seattle and rail partners. Delays to the project resulted in significant increased costs; the Port’s additional investment closes the existing funding gap and allows the project to proceed.
The East Marginal Way grade separation project offers three primary benefits:
- Eliminate the congestion at the intersection of East Marginal Way and South Spokane Street when trains are moving to and from terminals and rail yards;
- Improve accessbetween Port terminals, Union Pacific and BNSF rail yards, local manufacturers, and distribution warehouses;
- Improve air quality by reducing congestion and idling times.