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SEATTLE – Mayor Mike McGinn today announced increased funding for basic road maintenance in his 2013-2014 Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) proposed budget. Guided by the SDOT Action Agenda, the proposed budget includes significant investments to preserve and maintain critical transportation infrastructure. McGinn is increasing the City's annual investment in street repairs and maintenance by over $5 million.
“We’re working on the basics, filling potholes and making more, longer-lasting repairs to our streets,” said McGinn. “An improved revenue forecast and a sustainable approach to our city budget over the past few years are allowing us to re-invest in the core services of city government. This will help us improve safety for everyone using our roads.”
To help address the road maintenance backlog, the proposed transportation budget would add funding for arterial maintenance, non-arterial maintenance and crack sealing, and also restore SDOT’s chip seal program. It makes investments in bridge maintenance, bridge seismic work, sidewalk repair, traffic signal maintenance and signage maintenance.
These investments deepen the City’s commitment to improving road maintenance. In 2011 McGinn announced funds from the sale of surplus property would be used for road maintenance. Including today’s announcement, Seattle has added $28.4 million in new road repair funding since early 2011. After McGinn announced an increased emphasis on pothole repair in early 2011, SDOT crews have filled 39,398 potholes. The City also launched an online pothole map to help residents report potholes and track repairs. The map can be viewed at http://www.seattle.gov/
“This budget takes a significant step towards addressing Seattle’s critical transportation needs,” said SDOT Director Peter Hahn. “It prioritizes investments in roadway repairs to help our streets better serve Seattle’s residents and businesses.”
Specific road maintenance elements of the proposed budget include:
- Arterial Streets: Increases the arterial major maintenance budget by 50 percent by adding $2 million each year to an existing base of $4 million.
- Chip Seal: Restores a previously eliminated road maintenance program by providing $1.75 million in 2013 and $1.82 million in 2014.
- Crack Seal: Allows SDOT to seal and better protect over 50 lane-miles annually by adding $250,000 in 2013 and $260,000 in 2014.
- Non-arterial Streets: More than triples the available funds for non-arterial street repairs by increasing funding by $1.15 million annually.
McGinn will make more announcements about the transportation budget in the coming days. The mayor will formally introduce his budget on September 24. The proposal will then be considered by the council with a final budget tentatively planned for approval in November.