June 24, 2010
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South Park Bridge Special Edition

The South Park Bridge is permanently closing to all traffic at 7:00pm June 30th. This is a blow for businesses, workers, and residents in South Park and surrounding neighborhoods and for freight mobility throughout Seattle.

In this special edition of Seattle Industry eBulletin we look at what's happening now in South Park, including funding a new bridge, getting around South Park, help for businesses, and a Bridge Wake June 30th.

For bridge closure details, visit King County's website.

Progress on Funding a New Bridge

After years of fighting about who is responsible for the $130 million needed to build a new bridge, King County, the state of Washington, City of Seattle, and Port of Seattle have all pledged to contribute funding. Just yesterday Governor Gregoire announced a $20 million pledge of state funds for the project. On Monday the King County Council authorized $31 million in bonds for the bridge; the Seattle City Council has pledged $15 million; and the Port of Seattle has committed $5 million. King County will apply for a federal grant for the remaining funds this August; if successful, a new South Park Bridge could be completed in 3-4 years. Pictured at left: King County Executive Dow Constantine has been instrumental in putting together a funding package for a new South Park Bridge.

Getting Around South Park

King County has produced a handy traffic routing map showing driving routes around South Park and changes in intersection signals and pavement markings. This can be a great resource for customers and inbound deliveries.

Seattle is making transportation improvements in South Park to prepare for the bridge closure, including spot repair of several arterial streets (Holden St, 5th Ave, Kenyon St, and 8th Ave), new signage and sharrows for bicycle routes, and changes to intersections near the bridge. And King County Metro is re-routing three bus routes to the First Ave S Bridge.

Help for South Park Businesses

Seattle's Office of Economic Development is working with South Park businesses to try to mitigate the impacts of the bridge closure. This includes surveying retail and industrial businesses about their concerns and providing connections to marketing, finance, and other resources. The city is also working with the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle and the community to create a street beautification plan and to market South Park as a unique neighborhood to explore and enjoy a meal. The city's South Park Bridge Closure Response Plan is available online.

Kris Effertz with the Seattle Office of Economic Development is leading the business assistance team for the city. "Preserving healthy retail and industrial businesses in South Park is a top priority for the city," says Kris. "We want to find out what the concerns are and how we can help address them." For more information, contact Kris at (206) 684-7551, kris.effertz@seattle.gov.

What You Can Do:
The South Park Bridge has provided easy access to the growing business district on 14th Ave S, and community members are worried about the impact of the bridge closure. How can you help? Make a point to visit South Park for lunch of after work. Check out All About South Park to learn more about the South Park community.

South Park Bridge Wake: June 30th, 6-10pm

As the South Park Bridge comes to its untimely demise June 30th, the community will be there to say farewell and hold a party, complete with great music, drinks, mural painting, and mingling. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially businesses and employees in and around South Park. Find more information here.

Are Your Employees Stuck In Traffic? How to Help

If your businesses is in the Duwamish Manufacturing and Industrial Center, chances are traffic is a headache for your employees. And it's likely to get worse. Construction projects in Sodo, replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and now the closure of the South Park Bridge all mean more delays.

What can a business manager do? Why not remind employees about their options for getting to work - like carpools, vanpools, transit, or biking? The Duwamish TMA can provide you with a flyer for your employees; contact Melanie at (206) 762-2470, Melanie@seattleindustry.org.

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