Federal Judge Riccardo Martinez has ruled against the Coalition for Sustainable 520‘s lawsuit against the S.R. 520 Replacement project, according to a WSDOT press release. “With the court’s decision, WSDOT can continue with construction of SR 520 improvements as planned and funded.” The lawsuit challenged the project’s Environmental Impact Statement on the basis it did not adequately consider the effect of tolling on a four-lane option for 520.
State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said, “Our analysis was thorough and exhaustive, and we hope that the ruling by Judge Martinez puts an end to the debate about mobility improvements to this vital corridor.”
“The voluminous record in this matter reflects great concern on the part of defendants (WSDOT) for the impact of the SR 520 replacement bridge project upon the environment and the community, as to the immediate neighborhood of the bridge itself and the greater regional community which will use the bridge. Plaintiff has not challenged the decision to replace the existing bridge; the dispute is over the choice of design and footprint for the new bridge. Through the analysis set forth above, the Court is satisfied that the agencies have taken the requisite ‘hard look’ at the environmental consequences of the proposed project. The Court finds that the FEIS and ROD in this matter fulfill both the letter and spirit of NEPA, and by analogy, SEPA (state Environmental Policy Act). The Court also finds the elimination of the 4-lane Alternative from consideration after the DEIS (draft EIS) was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor an abuse of discretion.”
Previous Montlaker coverage on this issue:
Will update with more reactions when and if they are available.