Live blogging the City Council 520 design hearing

The City Council’s Special Committee on SR-520 Project meets today with WSDOT’s Community Design team. The goal of the meeting is for WSDOT to present feedback from this fall’s public comment period and for councilmembers to review the design process. Here we go…

11:08: Public comments done. Always interesting…

CM Conlin: City budget funds studies of the Montlake Mess. Next meeting will be Jan 22nd at 2:30pm.

11:12 Julie Meredith and Kerry Pihlstrom presenting for WSDOT.

11:13 WSDOT: We are confident we can resolve pontoon construction issues.

11:15 WSDOT will host January open house of “Lake to Land Plan.” This plan is consistent with construction phasing in EIS.

11:18 Recently reduced budget shortfall of $1.4 billion still includes all original project elements, including second bascule bridge.

11:22 CM Conlin requests more intuitive information access on WSDOT website. Yes.

11:27 WSDOT received significant feedback – 1,607 responses.

11:28 Bike and pedestrian access was a major topic of feedback.

11:30 We look forward to working with the Seattle Bike Master Plan.

11:31 Significant feedback for new 30-foot wide ped crossing over I-5 at Roanoke. –Yes, hello Eastlake!

11:33 Portage Bay Bridge Trail would require additional study of environmental impacts.

11:35 CM Licata: Are you moving forward on that study or waiting for additional feedback? WSDOT: Still looking at our options.

11:38 WSDOT: “PBBT would be a change. We want to hear from Council.”

11:41 CM Licata: Conflicting goals for PBBridge: minimum width + ped/bike connectivity. WSDOT: We are open to adding PBBT. CM Conlin: WSDOT needs to hear from us on this issue.

11:45 CM Rasmussen: How tall would a cable stay bridge be across Portage Bay? WSDOT: 180 feet.

11:48 Over 1,000 public comments in support of trail on Portage Bay Bridge.

11:50 We haven’t done our best with non-motorized connections on Montlake Blvd… tried to preserve Olmsted blvd.

11:54 CM Bagshaw: What are next steps to ensure this area is user friendly for bikes and pedestrians? WSDOT: We do our best when we collaborate with local departments.

11:55 West Approach Bridge construction begins in June 2014. — So folks, no floating bridge to nowhere…

11:58 CM Conlin: Thanks for working with us.

12:00 One more thing. CM Rasmussen: What do we have to do to transfer Ramp to Nowhere lands to the Arboretum? WSDOT: After construction is done, it’s a possibility.