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Following Preliminary Assessment of Costs, Mayor Durkan Halts Center City Connector

Seattle (March 30) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan directed the City of Seattle to halt the ongoing projects related to the Center City Connector streetcar, except for work on seismically vulnerable water mains, pending an independent review. Last week, Durkan required an independent technical review of the proposed costs of the Center City Connector. In conducting a preliminary assessment, it was discovered that the proposed project also could face a significant capital shortfall. As a result, the City also has initiated an independent investigation with the City Attorney of the project’s management to date. The City also continues to communicate closely with federal partners on the project.

“The City of Seattle has a critical obligation to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and an equal obligation to transparency,” said Mayor Durkan. “There are too many questions about the true costs of this project and the risks to taxpayers, which is why we must put the brakes on this project. As your new Mayor, I will continue to scrub our budgets and act to protect taxpayers.”

“I have serious concerns about the recent revelations regarding anticipated operating and capital costs for the Center City Connector, and I agree with Mayor Durkan that work on this project should be halted immediately,” said Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Mike O’Brien (District 6). “I appreciate the Mayor’s commitment to a transparent process that thoroughly vets this project and I commit to only allowing this project to proceed if there is compelling evidence that it makes financial sense to move forward.”

“The public and City deserve clarity and transparency regarding the City’s spending on all public projects,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7). “As Chair of the Finance Committee I support the Mayor in her efforts to understand the full financial implications of the Center City Connector Streetcar. My objectives are to spend our tax payer money wisely and construct projects that work for all, moving people and creating connections.”