Magnolia, Ballard Bridge replacements left out of mayor's transportation levy

VIDEO: City of Seattle will need more money to rebuild two of city';s problem bridges

SEATTLE — Mayor Ed Murray's $930 million transportation levy does not include money for replacing the city's aging Ballard Bridge or Magnolia Bridge.

That's because replacements are expensive.

The city roughly estimates each new bridge would cost around $300 million.

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"To fund it solely from this ballot measure would have been exorbitant," said City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

So, what are the funding options?

Murray on Wednesday suggested another levy sometime in the future.

"It will take additional money and it will probably be an additional ask at some point of the voters of the city of Seattle," Murray said.

Rasmussen pointed to the $330 million seawall measure as a precedent and said "I think we may have to do the same thing."

Rasmussen said it was too soon to know when a measure might be on the ballot. "We try to sequence these in a way that doesn't hit the taxpayers too deeply," he said.

A ballot measure is not the only option.

Others include paying for bridges with the commercial parking tax, or working with Sound Transit to build a new Ballard Bridge for cars and light rail, which could attract federal money.

"There may be an opportunity there to sort of pair projects and reduce some of the costs, we're also going to have to pursue state and federal money to pay for those bridges because the price tags are really large," Murray said.

This year's Move Seattle levy would do two things for the Ballard Bridge.

It would improve pedestrian and bike safety, and it includes $15 million to plan for large bridge replacements.