The Voice for Industry
April 1, 2009
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Seattle First - Helping Seattle Industry

Tunnel Endorsed by Maritime Trades

A regional coalition of maritime trade unions gave a key endorsement this week to the proposal to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep bore tunnel.

The endorsement was announced Monday by the Puget Sound Ports Council which represents 14 unions for sailors, mates, marine engineers and shipyard workers.

The endorsement is conditioned on city and state transportation planners finding ways to maintain access for north and south Seattle business operations that presently rely on the Alaskan Way Viaduct as a through route. Access issues must be addressed during environmental review of the deep bore option.

A bill supporting the deep bore tunnel is pending before the Washington State Legislature's House Transportation Committee. It cleared the state Senate Transportation Committee last month

Seattle Climate Partnership Celebrates First Year of City-Business Partnerships
In March, the Seattle Climate Partnership celebrated its One-Year Anniversary. So what and why is the Seattle Climate Partnership? "We need to find a way to power our economy without toasting the planet. My Green Ribbon Commission recommended establishing a government to business partnership – Seattle Climate Partnership - to help employers reduce their carbon footprints. The (Seattle Climate Partnership) provides tool(s) to help businesses and institutions to accomplish our common goals," Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.

Why should your industrial company take action on climate change now? The industrial sector, which in Seattle ranges from steel manufacturing to forestry, from cement processing to airplane manufacturing, has a vested interest in addressing climate change. Industrial companies are among the most energy and resource intensive of all businesses, and as such are poised to benefit dramatically by addressing climate change. Numerous bottom-line benefits can be realized through greater energy efficiency, process improvements, waste reduction and changes in transportation and materials. Industries can respond to increased stakeholder demand, show leadership, save money and enhance brand value at the same time.

MIC-member, Seafreeze, has taken advantage of Seattle City Light's Energy Smart service and reduced electricity consumption for the company's 7.5 million cubic feet cold storage facility, saving $75,000 annually. Another MIC-member, Ocean Beauty Seafood, upgraded their air compressor system and saved $8,980 annually with a payback of 1.1 years. Todd Pacific Shipyards worked with SPU's Water Smart Technology program to develop systems to pump salt water instead of freshwater and cut their water bill in half.

When businesses join the partnership, they sign an agreement to take actions to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and help support efforts in the broader community to reduce emissions. In exchange, partners receive a host of benefits, including a carbon footprint calculator, high-quality technical assistance, networking and mentorship opportunities, facilitated access to utility assistance programs, and forums and workshops with advice from experts. Since inception, the Partnership has enrolled 124 businesses and developed Guidebooks targeted at specific business-types - General Office, Hospital/Medical, Restaurants, Hotels, retailers, Industrial and Property Managers.

Check it out at, or contact SCP Director Charlie Cunniff at, 206-386-9748.

Heart’s In the Right Place
The Port of Seattle announced two new actions at the end of March 2009 – a customer relief package and diesel emission reduction program. The relief package is focused on terminal operators whose revenues depend on the number of containers they handle. Port cargo was down 37% in February 2009 as consumer spending continued to drop, endangering the jobs that cargo generates. Seattle's maritime cargo industry supports over 135,000 jobs throughout the state - jobs that are crucial to the health of the state's economy. The customer support program would go into effect from June 2009 to June 2010, although adjustments may be made as economic conditions change. The package offered to Seattle terminal operators is proportionally similar to what Los Angeles and Long Beach have offered their terminal operators.

The Port has been rolling out clean port policies and programs over the past year. Their latest program targets diesel emission reduction of vehicles engaged in Port activities notably trucks operating on-dock and the local streets surrounding Port facilities. In July, the Port would begin offering 100 free overnight truck parking spaces for area truckers. The designated truck parking is intended to reduce congestion in the neighboring communities of South Park and Georgetown. In addition, the Port of Seattle will contribute $2.3 million to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA). The funds are for programs that reduce diesel emission from maritime sources, including ocean going vessels, trucks, and cargo handling equipment. Additional funds available from other sources will be used to replace older trucks with newer, cleaner retrofits that produce less pollution.

The Port's press release quotes Port Commission President Bill Bryant, "We're fighting to protect 12,000 seaport jobs in the face of an economic hurricane. This proposal protects jobs and our environment. It's a win-win in a difficult time."

These programs attempt to "soften" the blow of larger community actions on the Port's local operators – the economic slow-down to terminal operators and cleaner air to local truck operators. The MIC appreciates that the Port is taking an active role as a public steward for the region, at least that part of the region that they have a finger in.

News from CTED
Trade Mission to Morelia & Guadalajara, Mexico
June 1 - June 6

The U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Pacific NW chapter invites you and your organization to join a VIP delegation of Washington business executives, government representatives, and education leaders on a (6) six-day trade mission to the cities of Morelia and Guadalajara. The agenda includes meetings with high-level government officials, business executives, importers, exporters, educators, chambers of commerce leaders, and tourism professionals.

Date: June 1 - June 6, 2009
Location: Morelia and Guadalajara
Cost: $500, does not include airfare or hotel costs
Contact: Luis Navarro at (206) 992-5362, or

South Spokane Street Viaduct Project Update
Background Information: The South Spokane Street Viaduct Project is now under way with completion scheduled for December 2011. The Seattle Department of Transportation's $168M project extends from State Route 99 to 6th Avenue South [6th] along South Spokane Street. A new off-ramp from the South Spokane Street Viaduct will be installed for eastbound traffic heading to 4th Avenue South [4th], and the Viaduct itself will be widened by 41 feet to the north, including an all-new on- and off- ramp at 1st Avenue South [1st] for westbound traffic. In addition, the lower roadway [Spokane] will be completely rebuilt in concrete with curbs, sidewalks and better pedestrian and bicycle access. Construction on the widening is expected to begin in third quarter of 2009.
4th Avenue South Eastbound Off Ramp Project: The utility relocation that has been occurring on Spokane Street since September 2008 — including replacing a water main segment — is now substantially complete and work on the new eastbound off-ramp at 4th has begun. Crews will be drilling shafts 60 to 100 feet deep over the next few months to support the new structure. They will begin just east of the railroad tracks at 2nd and will move eastward.
Eastbound Spokane Street traffic and impacts: (1)Through traffic on eastbound lower Spokane is currently open from East Marginal Way to 1st, closed between 1st and 6th, and open east of 6th. (2)Due to the current closure between 4th and 6th, bus routes normally turning east onto Spokane Street from the E-3 Busway are now using 6th southbound to reach Spokane, starting at Lander. These transit routes will return to the Busway when eastbound Spokane is reopened between 4th and 6th in late June 2009. (3)Eastbound Spokane between SR 99 and 1st is scheduled to close to through traffic from July to October 2009.
Important Traffic Advisory:Drivers heading westbound on the lower roadway should avoid turning left under the Spokane Street Viaduct between 2nd and 6th except at defined intersections (1st or 6th). The area under the Spokane viaduct is once again an active construction site and entering this area presents a significant danger to personnel and likely interference with heavy equipment. Non-construction vehicles in this area are at risk of receiving a moving violation in a work zone, which can result in double penalties. A portion of the detour route around the lower eastbound Spokane closure is itself under construction — 1st Avenue South between Stacy and Horton. During weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. traffic is restricted to one southbound and two northbound lanes of traffic. Evenings and weekends there is just one lane in either direction. Construction started in mid-February with completion scheduled for early September 2009. For more information go to the First Avenue Rebuild project website at:

Water Taxi Season Starts Sunday
Christened with a new name, King County will again this year operate a water taxi service on Elliott Bay between downtown Seattle and West Seattle. The sailing season kicks off this Sunday, April 5, with activities for all ages. Check it out at:

SR 519 Intermodal Access Project
Monday, March 30, closures start for bridge and ramp construction near Seattle's sports stadiums. Crews will begin moving underground utilities that are in the way of the piers that will support the new structures.

From 9 AM Monday to 6 PM Saturday, April 3, S. Royal Brougham Way between the Qwest Field Garage and 4th Ave S will be closed around-the-clock to relocate utilities and to prepare for bridge pier construction. There will be a signed detour. Pedestrian access will be provided on S Royal Brougham Way.

Also on Monday, 3rd Ave S from S Royal Brougham Way to just south of Edgar Martinez Drive S will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians around-the-clock until Spring 2010. There will be signed vehicle and pedestrian detours.
For more info:

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Seattle Industry

Spring 2009 Issue
Coming Soon

Past eBulletins

Manifestly Dumb
They Do It Right
Viaduct, SR 519, Spokane Street Updates
Elliott Curb Bulb Doomed?
Burn Down, Start Over

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