The ECOSS staff just got back from the South Park Bridge Press Conference where the bridge replacement Environmental Impact Statement was signed by Kathleen Davis, Director of Highways and Local Programs at the State Department of Transportation; Harold Taniguichi, Director of the Department of Transportation; and Dan Mathis, Washington division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration. With all plans approved, the replacement of the bridge can move forward pending funding from the federal government.
We have long heard the reasons why this bridge needs replacement. It has a sufficiency rating of four (out of 100). Truck traffic volume is between 4-10 million tons of freight per year. Over 20,000 vehicles per day cross the bridge. For those of us who work and live in South Park, we are well aware of the potential impacts of closure.
But the most compelling speech came from long time South Park resident and ECOSS supporter Geoff Belau who discussed the bridge’s symbolism to the community, and who was kind enough to let us post his speech here.
GOOD MORNING. MY NAME IS GEOFF BELAU. I AM A 10 YEAR RESIDENT OF SOUTH PARK, I’M AN ARCHITECT, AND I’VE BEEN A MEMBER KING COUNTY’S COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP FOR SOUTH PARK BRIDGE REPLACEMENT SINCE 2002.
I’D LIKE TO START BY THANKING EVERYONE WHO HAD A HAND IN GETTING THE PROJECT THIS FAR. IT IS AN EXCITING AND ENCOURAGING THING TO BE STANDING HERE TODAY TO WITNESS THE SIGNING OF THIS DOCUMENT, WHICH SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO PRODUCE. ON BEHALF OF THE SOUTH PARK COMMUNITY, THANK YOU.
I’D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT SOUTH PARK AND WHAT THIS BRIDGE REALLY MEANS TO THOSE OF US WHO LIVE AND WORK HERE.