Council gets a quarterly report on capital projects

In an attempt to get better transparency over the city’s large capital projects and provide early warning on those running behind schedule or over budget, the City Council worked with the executive branch to define a quarterly report that lists all the projects and provides additional detail on a handful that have been added to a “watch list.”

The second-quarter report is in; here’s what it says.

Some highlights:

  • The central waterfront piers project has a couple of issue, not the least of which is its dependence on the Waterfront LID for funding. While Pier 63 reconstruction is underway, Pier 63 and Waterfront Park are still undergoing permitting analysis. The Alaskan Way Viaduct and seawall replacement, Alaskan Way main corridor rebuild, overlook walk, and piers all have interconnected schedules and all share high schedule risk because of the ambition and complexity of the projects — and because of dependency on Waterfront LID funding.
  • The Northgate bridge and cycle track are still on schedule. There was a miscommunication about $3 million in funding, but it is being addressed in next year’s budget.
  • Phase 2 of the 23rd Avenue corridor project is in construction, on schedule, and slightly under budget. Phase 3 will be at 30% design in December.
  • The completion date for the South Lander Street overpass is now July 2020, after delays caused by the bidding process, material fabrication issues, underground utility conflicts, and “submittals not meeting requirements.” There is some concern that steel tariffs will impact the budget, but the project is carrying an unusually large contingency to mitigate this kind of issue.
  • The budget for the Ship Canal Water Quality Project has increased by about $30 million in the last year. It has a number of schedule and budget risks, including coordination with construction of the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link and utility relocations; steel tariffs; unknown underground conditions that might interfere with digging.
  • The Denny Substation project is nearly complete, though there is still some schedule risk because of losing construction resources to other projects. Also, the contractors are starting to submit claims for additional charges due to change order so there is some budget risk.
  • The Madison Street BRT project has a major risk: funding. The city was depending on federal FTA funding for the project, but it’s unclear whether the Trump administration will come through.
  • The Delridge Multimodal Corridor project is in the early design phase. The $47 million budget is still a wild guess and will be updated once the project is at 30% design complete. Several issues have been identified, most notably coordination with King County Metro.