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News & Music Contributors
Mon July 11, 2011
More money for street repair in Seattle
The city of Seattle is pouring an extra $3 million into road repair. The city is using money it made selling property along Aurora Avenue North, known as the "Rubble Yard," to the state Department of Transportation.
Mayor Mike McGinn says the money increases the 2011 road repair budget by 33 percent. Speaking at a news conference held just off busy Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, McGinn said the money will fix streets and fund maintenance projects that have been put off for too long.
" We're seeing the effects with just dramatically increased number of potholes. When you get a bad winter, it's not just the bad winter, it's the bad winter on top of really old infrastructure, really old streets," McGinn said.
But city officials caution the one time windfall isn't a long term solution to the problem of crumbling roads. City Councilman Tom Rasmussen called it the equivalent of holding a bake sale to pay for road and bridge repair.
The City Council is deciding whether to place a measure on the fall ballot asking voters to pony up more money for road repair.
Five years ago, voters approved the “Bridging the Gap” levy. Among other things, it was supposed to pay for backlogged road maintenance.City officials say it hasn’t been able to cover all the projects as revenues from other sources have fallen.