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Rail News: Intermodal

Seattle port provides funding for viaduct replacement


The Port of Seattle Commission last week approved $267.7 million for the SR 99 Corridor/Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.

A funding agreement between the Washington State Department of Transportation and port fulfills a memorandum of agreement they adopted in early 2010 for the $3.1 billion program, which includes more than 20 projects designed to improve transportation and freight mobility.

The port funding will support tunneling work to enable crews to replace the viaduct while minimizing highway closures. In addition, an overpass under construction will allow freight and other traffic to bypass a busy railroad track that crosses South Atlantic Street near the entrance to a port terminal.

"By keeping traffic flowing along the SR 99 Corridor, this project maintains the regional capacity we need for continued movement of freight and other goods between the industrial areas of the city," said George Allen, senior vice president of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, in a press release.

Seattle's Duwamish and Interbay industrial areas are served by the SR 99 Corridor and comprise a significant portion of the city's maritime and industrial sector. A BNSF Railway Co. mainline also used by Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak, and Sounder freight- and passenger-rail operations runs through the Duwamish industrial core.

Among the port's priorities for the Alaskan Way viaduct: to provide sufficient capacity to accommodate more efficient freight movements, and create easy access to cargo areas, commercial fishing points, cruise facilities and Sea-Tac International Airport.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/14/2013