Mayor Durkan Postpones Decision
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
The Community Task Force held a "between meetings" discussion yesterday, and we have a lot of news for you.
We also have an important call to action: Take Councilmember Lisa Herbold's single question repair-or-replacement survey online and show your support for a safe, fast, and affordable repair! More on that below....
But first the news:
As the West Seattle Blog summarizes, the big news from the meeting is that Mayor Durkan will not be making her decision next week. Instead, the CTF will meet again to discuss its potential recommendation.
Next week's CTF meeting will be streamed live at noon on Wednesday, October 21. We will provide the link when it is available; in the meantime, please save the date.
So why did the mayor delay her decision? This is largely because SDOT has still not completed its cost-benefit analysis. That analysis, we now have learned, awaits SDOT's unveiling of a late-breaking replacement concept—one that they claim (without details, naturally) could be finished within three years.
If this actually were a reasonable option, why didn't SDOT provide this information months ago? Why what until the eleventh hour, when the momentum has swung so strongly in favor of repair, to disclose a new replacement option? SDOT has been misleading and lacked transparency throughout this process:
They have never conducted an economic analysis of how the bridge closure is harming West Seattle each and every day.
They have concealed the low costs of the work done to date and the truly low costs of a safe, viable, and long-term repair.
They have failed to provide a complete cost-benefit analysis to the CTF, selectively released cherry-picked information, and biased the still-in-progress analysis to favor a lengthy and painful replacement process.
They have made misleading claims to the media and the public—including the false claim that a repaired bridge might last only five years—that conflict with the information provided by the experts.
And now they have unveiled a last-minute replacement option that should have been disclosed long ago.
So we are skeptical of a belated proposal that seems designed solely to convince the public that replacement will not take as long as SDOT has repeatedly said from the beginning. SDOT knows that a repair would be safe, fast, and affordable, and now it's scrambling to find ways to continue pushing replacement.
The fact that SDOT is muddying the waters with its new replacement options makes it more critical than ever that we continue to push strongly for repair.
West Seattle Bridge Now Citizens Coalition