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47.01.400  <<  47.01.402 >>   47.01.405

RCW 47.01.402

Alaskan Way viaduct replacement project — Deep bore tunnel option — Funding, accountability, and responsibility.

(1) The legislature finds that the replacement of the vulnerable state route number 99 Alaskan Way viaduct is a matter of urgency for the safety of Washington's traveling public and the needs of the transportation system in central Puget Sound. The state route number 99 Alaskan Way viaduct is susceptible to damage, closure, or catastrophic failure from earthquakes and tsunamis. Additionally, the viaduct serves as a vital route for freight and passenger vehicles through downtown Seattle.

     Since 2001, the department has undertaken an extensive evaluation of multiple options to replace the Alaskan Way viaduct, including an initial evaluation of seventy-six conceptual alternatives and a more detailed analysis of five alternatives in 2004. In addition to a substantial technical review, the department has also undertaken considerable public outreach, which included consultation with a stakeholder advisory committee that met sixteen times over a thirteen-month period.

     Therefore, it is the conclusion of the legislature that time is of the essence, and that Washington state cannot wait for a disaster to make it fully appreciate the urgency of the need to replace this vulnerable structure. The state shall take the necessary steps to expedite the environmental review and design processes to replace the Alaskan Way viaduct with a deep bore tunnel under First Avenue from the vicinity of the sports stadiums in Seattle to Aurora Avenue north of the Battery Street tunnel. The tunnel must include four general purpose lanes in a stacked formation.

     (2) The state route number 99 Alaskan Way viaduct replacement project finance plan must include state funding not to exceed two billion four hundred million dollars and must also include no more than four hundred million dollars in toll revenue. These funds must be used solely to build a replacement tunnel, as described in subsection (1) of this section, and to remove the existing state route number 99 Alaskan Way viaduct. All costs associated with city utility relocations for state work as described in this section must be borne by the city of Seattle and provided in a manner that meets project construction schedule requirements as determined by the department. State funding is not authorized for any utility relocation costs, or for central seawall or waterfront promenade improvements.

     (3) The department shall provide updated cost estimates for construction of the bored tunnel and also for the full Alaskan Way viaduct replacement project to the legislature and governor by January 1, 2010. The department must also consult with independent tunnel engineering experts to review the estimates and risk assumptions. The department shall not enter into a design-build contract for construction of the bored tunnel until the report in this section has been submitted.

     (4) Any contract the department enters into related to construction of the deep bored tunnel must include incentives and penalties to encourage on-time completion of the project and to minimize the potential for cost overruns.

     (5) It is important that the public and policymakers have accurate and timely access to information related to the Alaskan Way viaduct replacement project as it proceeds to, and during, construction of all aspects of the project, specifically including but not limited to information regarding costs, schedules, contracts, project status, and neighborhood impacts. Therefore it is the intent of the legislature that the state, city, and county departments of transportation establish a single source of accountability for integration, coordination, tracking, and information of all requisite components of the replacement project, which must include, at minimum:

     (a) A master schedule of all subprojects included in the full replacement project or program; and

     (b) A single point of contact for the public, media, stakeholders, and other interested parties.

     (6)(a) The city and county departments of transportation shall be responsible for the cost, delivery, and associated risks of the project components for which each department is responsible, as outlined in the January 13, 2009, letter of agreement signed by the governor, city, and county.

     (b) The state's contribution shall not exceed two billion four hundred million dollars. If costs exceed two billion four hundred million dollars, no more than four hundred million [dollars] of the additional costs shall be financed with toll revenue. Any costs in excess of two billion eight hundred million dollars shall be borne by property owners in the Seattle area who benefit from replacement of the existing viaduct with the deep bore tunnel.

     (7) Compression brakes may be used by authorized motor vehicles in the deep bore tunnel in a manner consistent with the requirements of RCW 46.37.395.

[2009 c 458 § 1.]

Notes:

     Alaskan Way viaduct replacement project -- Deep bore tunnel option -- Traffic and revenue study -- 2009 c 458: "The department of transportation must prepare a traffic and revenue study for a state route number 99 deep bore tunnel for the purpose of determining the facility's potential to generate toll revenue. The department shall regularly report to the transportation commission regarding the progress of the study for the purpose of guiding the commission's toll setting on the facility. The study must include the following information:

     (1) An analysis of the potential diversion from state route number 99 to other parts of the transportation system resulting from tolls on the facility;

     (2) An analysis of potential mitigation measures to offset or reduce diversion from state route number 99;

     (3) A summary of the amount of revenue generated from tolling the deep bore tunnel; and

     (4) An analysis of the impact of tolls on the performance of the facility.

     The department must provide the results of the study to the governor and the legislature by January 2010." [2009 c 458 § 2.]

     Effective date -- 2009 c 458: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect July 1, 2009." [2009 c 458 § 3.]