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Seattle's Magnolia Bridge embodies city's spending problems

Magnolia bridge replacement cost KOMO graphic_1559.jpg
Residents in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood are voicing their displeasure about the rising cost of replacing the Magnolia Bridge and the potential that the bridge won't be replaced due to increasing costs despite the fact that the city is spending millions on bike lanes and street car trolleys that only carry a tiny fraction of commuters. (Photo: KOMO News).{ }

The 90-year-old bridge connecting Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood to the rest of the city may be too expensive to fully replace, according to Seattle's Department of Transportation.

The alert, delivered to frustrated and angry Magnolia residents at a town hall forum on Monday, underscores the city's spending problems on transportation infrastructure as recent reports have uncovered the price of Seattle's bike lanes have exploded from an estimated $860,000 per mile to $12 million per mile.

As KVI's John Carlson notes, Seattle has spent millions of dollars building street car lines in South Lake Union and First Hill that only carry a tiny amount of riders compared to the 17,000 vehicles a day that traverse the Magnolia Bridge.

A KVI listener who attended last night's Magnolia Bridge forum with SDOT says, "there were a lot (of people) yelling at SDOT's dismissive attitude towards basically saying that 'when the bridge wears out, we're not replacing it'".

That caller's comment prompted an expanded conversation between Carlson and KVI's Kirby Wilbur about the continued mistakes made by the City of Seattle regarding public works projects that routinely fail to be built on time or on budget.


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