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Posted 26 April 2012 | Add new comment
With an estimated 270 hours of daily traffic delays at railroad tracks on Duwamish Avenue South in 2007, relocating East Marginal Way through this corridor in Seattle would improve access to Port of Seattle terminals, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) rail yards, and local businesses. With the opening of the East Marginal Way grade separation in April 2012, a new vehicular overpass structure now elevates both eastbound Spokane Street and Duwamish Avenue to separate vehicular traffic from rail traffic and creates dedicated lanes for freight traffic.
Existing traffic volumes on East Marginal Way north of Spokane Street were estimated at 400 to 600 vehicles per hour during peak driving times. In addition to roadway congestion, a significant portion of freight traffic used these streets. Twenty-six train movements traversed East Marginal Way South and Duwamish Avenue South each day, adding a daily blockage time of 124 minutes. The new grade separation improves safety by eliminating rail and highway conflicts at the crossing and improves the air quality by reducing the delay-related idling of trucks and other vehicles.
The majority of the $52.7 million tab was funded by the Port of Seattle with the remainder of the project cost covered by the State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board ($6.9 million), Washington State Transportation Improvement Board ($10.3 million), BNSF and UPRR ($1.43 million), City of Seattle ($1.6 million), federal grants ($10.8 million), and federal stimulus money ($2.88 million).