The Voice for Industry
March 31, 2010
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Traffic at a Crawl

North-south traffic around Spokane Street routinely slows to a crawl these days due to lane closures and construction work on Airport Way, Fourth Avenue South and First Avenue South. Get used to it because traffic in SODO is going to be disrupted for the next five to six years due to major construction projects involving the south end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Spokane Street Viaduct and the Deep Bore Tunnel to replace the rest of the Alaskan Way elevated structure.

These and other topics, including the fate of the South Park Bridge, will be discussed at a meeting Tuesday, April 6, with Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Seattle City Council transportation committee, and Jan Drago, the new King County Council person for District 8, which takes in the greater Duwamish planning area. Rasmussen and Drago will meet with the Duwamish Transportation Management Association starting at noon in Room B113 at the Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center in Georgetown.

The second half of the meeting, from 1 to 2 p.m., will focus on highway and transit planners responsible for detours and route changes as result of the Alaskan Way Viaduct construction work that will begin later this year.

Both meetings are open to the public. RSVP to Pam at 206-762-2470 so an adequate number of chairs is available. The meeting room is in Building B. Use the driveway at 6770 East Marginal Way and find parking east of the building.

Save the Date - April 28th
Need Capital Financing? Recovery Zone Facility Bonds and You

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (the "Recovery Act") created a new category of tax-exempt bonds called Recovery Zone Facility Bonds ("RZFBs") to assist economic development in distressed areas throughout the United States. The Recovery Act authorized $15 billion of tax-exempt RZFBs, promoting the financing of capital projects owned or used by private parties. This $15 billion is allocated among major metropolitan areas and counties of each state based on unemployment statistics in 2008. The City of Seattle is authorized to issue $19 million in tax exempt RZFBs in 2010 through the Office of Economic Development. Other Puget Sound jurisdictions authorized to issue RZFBs include Clark, Cowlitz, King and Kitsap Counties, as well as the cities of Bellevue, Tacoma and Vancouver. See WA State Department of Commerce for complete listing.

How it Works:

  • For each project, RZFBs will be issued and privately placed with a bank/lender.
  • The bank/lender will then loan the bond proceeds to a Qualified Business.
  • Due to the tax-exempt status of the bonds, the bank/lender may claim a federal income tax exemption on the interest income. In exchange for this tax benefit, the bank/lender offers a reduced rate of interest for the loan (approximately as much as 2% below market interest).
  • The bonds will be issued by a conduit issuer such as Seattle Industrial Development Corporation or Washington Economic Development Finance Authority (WEDFA).
  • It is critical that those interested in applying for RZFBs be proactive in submitting their proposed projects in the near future. RZFBs must be issued no later than January 1, 2011.

The City of Seattle will give priority to projects that create the following economic development benefits (listed in order of priority):

  • Create and retain permanent jobs
  • Increase goods and services needed by the neighborhood
  • Serve as an anchor for future economic development in the immediate neighborhood.
  • Enhance the local tax base through increased sales and/or property taxes from future project operations.
  • Include energy efficient building or process improvements.

What is a Qualified Business?

A Qualified Business is most for-profit businesses, including manufacturing, distribution, service providers, and retail. See Section 14000U-3 of the IRS for exclusions, including: "residential rental property, private or commercial golf course, country club, massage parlor, hot tub facility, suntan facility, racetrack, or other facility used for gambling or any store the principle business of which is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises."

SAVE THE DATE! Attend the MIC's Financing Forum on April 28, 2010 to learn more about this financing program and others available to small & medium businesses in Seattle. Details coming soon

Excerpts from An Introduction to Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, by Alan L. Kennard, Wildman Harrold Law Client Bulletin, 10/02/2009 and Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) Overview, OED Draft Discussion Paper, 2/19/2010

Port of Seattle Earth Day Parks Tour

Come and learn about the Port's environmental projects and the Seaport's 100% organic landscaping programs. You're invited to tour two of Port of Seattle's 22 parks and public access areas on Wednesday, April 14, 12 noon-2:30 p.m.

Terminal 107 (4700 West Marginal Way Southwest): Learn about Kellogg Island, fish and wildlife habitat restoration, walk the pedestrian paths along the shoreline, and learn about historic use of this critical area in the Duwamish estuary.

Terminal 5, Jack Block Park (2130 Harbor Avenue Southwest): Tour the children's play area, landscaped areas with interpretative information, pedestrian/bicycle paths, and view the Seattle skyline and container terminal from a 45' high platform.

The Parks Tour begins at Pier 69 in the Port of Seattle Headquarters. Tours are for participants 18 years and older. Space is limited, register early by e-mail: or by phone: 206 787-3009, include names of all registrants with company (if applicable), e-mail and phone contact information. Confirmation of registration will be sent with tour details and parking information.

Environmental managers and landscape crew members will lead the tours which will be conducted at a brisk walking pace and may cover uneven terrain. Remember to dress for the weather and wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.


Seattle Department of Transportation has received a request to change the name of Airport Way South between 4th Avenue South and 6th Avenue South back to its historic designation, Seattle Boulevard South. This stretch of Airport Way South, adjacent to the former Immigration and Naturalization building – 815 Airport Way S, has only two building addresses and both property owners have requested this change.

If you have any comments on this requested change please contact Roxanne Thomas, at 206-386-9060 or at no later than March 31, 2010. Once public comments have been received they will be reviewed and the street name change request will be forwarded by SDOT to the City Council for their review.

MIC NOTE: This area appears to be outside of the Duwamish Manufacturing & Industrial Center and inside of the Chinatown-International District boundary.

Spokane Street Viaduct Update
First Avenue on-ramp is closing soon.

The next major milestone in the South Spokane Street Viaduct Project (the structure that links the West Seattle Bridge to I-5) is the permanent closure of the First Avenue South on-ramp to the westbound lanes of the viaduct, tentatively scheduled for May 17. The ramp closure is required to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct to the north by approximately 41 feet. The new westbound on- and off-ramp will be constructed on First Avenue.

In the year and a half during which there will be no access to the Spokane Street Viaduct from surface streets in SODO, vehicles will be detoured to the low level swing bridge to get to West Seattle. Alternative routes are noted in the detour map. SDOT will be monitoring traffic flows along the detour routes following the closure to determine whether changes in signal timing or other measures are needed to keep traffic moving.

For more information see Project Web Page.

Spokane Street Viaduct

Drivers should plan for delays, the First Avenue South off-ramp from eastbound lanes of the viaduct is reduced to one lane for up to five months. On surface streets, First Avenue South, recently reduced to one lane for southbound traffic, will also be restricted to one lane for northbound traffic from Spokane to Hanford streets, also for up to five months.

For information about this project, please visit SDOT's website,


A series of ramp and closures on ramps and streets in SODO will begin in order to complete a new I-90/I-5 off-ramp to S Atlantic St/Edgar Martinez Dr which is part of the SR 519 Intermodal Access Project. On April 12, a new bridge over the railroad tracks on S Royal Brougham Way will open.

Detours will be in place; drivers should consider alternate routes.
Closure schedule:
  • March 29 through Thursday, April 1 - both directions of Edgar Martinez Dr S/S Atlantic St and all ramps to and from the overpass, including the on-ramp to eastbound I-90 will close from 9PM- 5AM. Local access only will be provided from 1st and Occidental to Edgar for access to the Safeco Parking Garage.
  • Tuesday, March 30 only - both directions of Edgar Martinez Dr S/S Atlantic St and all ramps to and from the overpass, including the on-ramp to eastbound I-90 will close from 8PM- 5AM. Local access only will be provided from 1st and Occidental to Edgar for access to the Safeco Parking Garage.
  • March 31, 9PM – April 21, 5AM 3- week closure of the northbound I-5 off-ramp to 4th Ave S; both the ramp and the new off-ramp to S. Atlantic Street/Edgar Martinez Dr S will re-open on the April 21.
  • March 31, and Thursday, April 1 the southbound I-5 off-ramp to 4th Ave S will close from 9PM – 5AM
  • March 31, and Thursday, April 1 both directions of 4th Ave S between S Royal Brougham Way and Edgar Martinez Dr S will close from 7PM- 5AM

For more Information: SR519 Web page.

Airport Way Paving

SEATTLE— Beginning Monday, March 22, construction began on Airport Way between Royal Brougham Way and Spokane Street for repaving. A minimum of one lane in each direction will remain open at all times. Two northbound lanes will be open during weekday peak hours from 7 to 9 a.m. and two southbound lanes will be open from 3 to 6 p.m.

The project includes new asphalt pavement, new concrete pavement in areas that are heavily used by transit, upgraded curb ramps and minor drainage improvements. This work will be completed in mid-summer 2010.

Airport Way South is a major arterial street into SODO and downtown, and it is also a truck route. The street surface is in poor condition and needs to be replaced. The work is funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation initiative approved by Seattle voters in 2006.

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