Golden Shovels Kick Off Mercer Fix

Golden (i.e. color only, not karat-rated) shovels dug in yesterday morning, amid rain and a solid crowd. In attendance were Mayor Mike McGinn, Senator Patty Murray, Governor Chris Gregoire, Federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Representative Jim McDermott and approximately 125 people in all. The $160 million contract made up of local, private and federal funds will create 1,200 new jobs. Construction is scheduled to begin this week and the three-year project is expected to be complete in 2013.

Mayor McGinn and Senator Murray among those with golden shovels

Mercer Corridor Project Manager Angela Brady is interviewed

About 80,000 people daily, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, truckers and commuters, use Mercer Corridor. This project will reconnect South Lake Union to other neighborhoods; eliminate circuitous routes; reduce backups on I-5; and replace water and electrical utilities that are in some cases 100 years old. Ultimately the project will create 32 blocks of new or wider sidewalks, improve transit connections, add six blocks of multi use trails and include a mile of bike lanes. For more information visit the project Web site.