The $1 million cut doesn’t bode well for the beleaguered project, which some city councilmembers see as redundant and overpriced.

1 minute read

August 9, 2023, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

White Seattle streetcar at mid-street stop with four-story brick building in background

A streetcar on the First Hill line in Seattle, Washington. | Nicole Kandi / Adobe Stock

Seattle’s proposed First Avenue streetcar line, known as the Center City Connector, more than a decade in the works, faces a new obstacle after a city council committee voted 3-2 to eliminate a $1 million earmark for a feasibility study for the project, reports David Kroman in The Seattle Times. “Some work on the study has already been completed within the Seattle Department of Transportation’s existing budget, Housen said, but the $1 million is needed to see it through.”

As Kroman notes, “the vote highlights the skepticism within City Hall of a project likely to cost over $300 million and take several years to complete.” A 2019 estimate put the projected cost at $285 million, almost double the original projection.

Kroman adds, “The city’s latest capital budget identifies sources for $144 million of the car’s estimated $237 million cost, not including utility work. About $77 million of that amount comes from federal funding that is not currently in hand.” City Councilmember Alex Pedersen, who opposes the project, says the Connector project “is expensive, redundant, disruptive and less important than many other transportation projects we have, especially transportation safety projects.”

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