When the municipal Council meets the day after Labor Day, their first meeting could see the Transportation and Utilities Committee vote on the mayoral candidate for SDOT director, Greg Spotts. He appeared briefly before the committee last month with introductory remarks (see that here, 12 minutes later), but this time he will answer questions before the committee votes on whether to move his nomination forward. to the full council. He has already provided written responses to questions from Board members, which are compiled in this document. We thought you might be interested in what he had to say about bridges – here’s that excerpt:
BRIDGES: Seattle is a city connected by bridges and the city has suffered from the closure of the West Seattle Bridge for the past two years. How will you apply your experience upgrading or building bridges in LA to Seattle?
a. Before voters consider a multi-year property tax renewal called “Move Seattle” in 2024, how do you plan to expedite repairs to many of Seattle’s bridges, especially those rated “poor” by the audit in 2020 and those originally promised for the 2015 seismic upgrades?
(SPOT RESPONSE) As I said in my remarks to the Seattle Transportation and Utilities Committee, one of my first areas of focus will be bridges. I want to ensure that we use the best practices in asset management to maintain, repair, upgrade and, if necessary, replace our bridge assets. I enjoyed the opportunity to tour the University Bridge with Councilman Pedersen the day I was announced as Mayor Harrell’s candidate. I’ve already started learning about the work being done to improve Seattle’s bridges and have researched best practices in West Coast cities.
I think it is critical that we accelerate SDOT’s work on bridge repairs, seismic reinforcement, and maintenance of structural and mechanical systems. We must build the confidence of Seattle residents that SDOT has embarked on a strategic, sequenced plan that proactively cares for our bridge assets, ensuring the safety of the traveling public and the resilience of our transportation network. for people and goods. . I have seen the beginnings of this good work and am committed to analyzing, systematizing and accelerating these efforts, including the completion of the bridge audit recommendations. I plan to communicate frequently with you and the public on this subject. On a case-by-case basis, I am prepared to involve external subject matter experts if I determine that such input is necessary to further strengthen our people, systems and technology across deck operations.
With respect to outside funding, I will work with SDOT staff to strategically and aggressively pursue bridge grant opportunities. I will also ensure that we fully spend the budget available for bridge maintenance, supporting the acceleration of work on recently received grant funds and evaluating Move Seattle Levy Bridge commitments to finish strong on the Levy .
Spotts’ appearance before the Transportation and Utilities Committee is Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. If you are interested in commenting, either during the meeting or in advance in writing, the agenda explains how.