Portland gets to work on Inclusionary Planning Zone
With the passing of Oregon’s inclusionary zoning legislation in March, the director of the Portland Housing Bureau, Kurt Creager, has stated Portland is beginning to develop a plan that would require affordable housing in certain areas of the city. Housing experts will present a plan to City Commissioner Dan Saltzman by September.
In a message on his website addressed to the City of Portland, Creager proudly stated that, “the adoption of SB 1533, [allows Portland] to pursue mandatory inclusionary housing and harness the economic power of the private market to increase the supply of affordable housing for low-income Portlanders.“
A list of the housing experts expected to present is also available on the site and includes Shannon Callahan, Office of Commissioner Saltzman; Matthew Tschabold, Portland Housing Bureau; Sarah Zahn, Portland Housing Advisory Commission and Gerding Edlen; and Dr. Lisa Bates, Portland State University.
Oregon is now the 49th state to allow inclusionary zoning, leaving just Texas as the last state to forbid it.
Congress split over F-35 infrastructure funding at Eielson Air Force Base
Two new squadrons of F-35 fighter jets are dividing The U.S. House and Senate over the construction funding for Eielson Air Force Base. A Senate subcommittee approved $295 million for the 2017 fiscal year, but a House committee voted to reduce funding by $82.3 million after concern arose that Alaska “has too many military construction projects planned in the next fiscal year,” said Matt Shuckerow, a spokesman for Alaska Rep. Don Young, to the Alaska Dispatch News.
In a press release, Senator Lisa Murkowski argued that “while Alaska is set to receive a larger share of the 2017 military construction budget than any other state, these investments are incredibly important for the security of our entire nation.”
The House funding bill is now set to include money for at least one aircraft weather shelter that will house one squadron of F-35s instead of two. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense asked Congress to fund seven construction projects at Eielson for the same fiscal year, even after the Air Force announced it would station 54 F-35s at the base near Fairbanks starting in 2020.
Sound Transit tunnel boring machine breaks through at University of Washington station
Sound Transit announced that the tunnel boring machine (TBM) reached the wall of its retrieval shaft at the University of Washington light rail station, completing one of two 3.5-mile tunnels for the Northgate Link Extension. The tunnel will serve northbound light rail trains to Northgate beginning in 2021. A time-lapse video released by Sound Transit shows crews preparing the interior wall of the retrieval shaft at the University of Washington Station for the arrival of the TBM.
Sound Transit’s tunneling contractor JCM Northlink will spend the next few weeks removing the 600-ton, 333-foot long machine from the retrieval shaft at the University of Washington station. Only one tunnel segment is left for Sound Transit to mine for the completion of the Northgate Link Extension.
Additionally, a second TBM mining the tunnel that is set to serve southbound trains “holed-through” at the U District station site earlier this month.
Seattle’s new floating bridge project set to open
The Washington State Department of Transportation opened the westbound lanes of the Washington State Route 520 bridge over Lake Washington April 11. The SR 520 Floating Bridge and Landings project replaces the existing floating bridge and approaches and is located just east of Foster Island in Seattle to Evergreen Point Road in Medina. The new bridge is resistant to windstorms up to 89 mph, and includes two general-purpose lanes and one transit/HOV lane in each direction, wider shoulders for disabled vehicles, a 14-ft-wide bicycle and pedestrian path on the north side of the bridge and the ability to accommodate future light rail if the region chooses to fund it in the future.
Eastbound lanes are expected to open within 14 days.
At 7,710 ft, the bridge is longer than the existing 7,578 ft. bridge and is among the longest floating bridges in the world. The old floating bridge will be decommissioned and dismantled later this year.
General contractor on the $2.8 billion project is a Kiewit/General/Manson joint venture. Engineering and other consultants include HDR, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff and CDM Smith.
Wayne Schutsky contributed to this report.