As City of Seattle Prepares for the Viaduct Closure & Start of the Seattle Squeeze, Mayor Durkan Hires Retired Air Force Major General Mike Worden as Seattle’s First-Ever Director of Citywide Mobility Operations Coordination

Seattle (January 3, 2019) – As the City of Seattle prepares for the permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct beginning January 11, 2019 and the start of the “Seattle Squeeze” – a four-year period when public and private megaprojects in the region will create new challenges to getting in and around Seattle – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced today that retired Air Force Major General Michael Worden will serve as Seattle’s first-ever Director of Citywide Mobility Operations Coordination.

In this role, Worden will be the single point of contact for ensuring the City’s 29 departments have a coordinated response to new mobility challenges and impacts to department operations, including managing the right of way, conducting incident response, and ensuring the continued delivery of emergency services. He will also help ensure the City is working closely with partner agencies on operations and planning.

“After the many years of tunnel construction, the viaduct will finally be coming down and work on the waterfront of the future will begin. But this also marks the beginning of a period of significant mobility challenges that will require coordinated, efficient response that delivers for the people of Seattle,” said Mayor Durkan. “With his decades of experience in planning, operations and fast-changing periods of uncertainty, General Worden will help ensure we are meeting the challenge for the public, freight mobility and critical services like public safety.”

“It is a privilege to serve the people of Seattle. While Seattle faces significant mobility and traffic challenges, Mayor Durkan’s vision for the future is both compelling and a call to action,” said General Worden. “I look forward to working with the Mayor as well as my City and regional colleagues to help address the complex challenges and ensure a coordinated response that advances safety and mobility.”

Worden, who began serving at the City on January 2, joins the City as a member of the Mayor’s Cabinet. He will report to the Mayor, and Senior Deputy Mayor Michael Fong will oversee his day-to-day work. Worden will be based out of the City’s Emergency Operations Center so he has access to necessary centralized communications and technology assets for real-time coordination.

Worden will draw on decades of global experience in crisis planning, logistics coordination and operations leadership, often in fast-moving periods of risk and uncertainty to guide the City’s response to this new era of tough traffic amid major construction, and to complement the ongoing work across the City’s departments. Worden served in the United States Air Force for over 30 years before working as an executive in Defense and commercial industry. Before his retirement from military service in 2009. Immediately prior to his retirement from military service, Worden served as the Deputy CEO and Vice Commander of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base. In addition, Worden holds a B.S. in History from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Duke University.

To learn more about how the City of the Seattle and our Department of Transportation are working with our partners to prepare for the viaduct closure and the Seattle Squeeze, click here. You can also learn more about the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement and the new 99 tunnel on WSDOT’s #realign99 page here. And as you think about how you might change your commute and how you get around Seattle, please visit our real-time traffic map, and King County Metro’s TripPlanner.