Process not "arbitrary, capricious nor an abuse of discretion"
A Federal district judge today threw out the court case brought by the Coalition for a Sustainable 520 to force design changes to the floating bridge project. The Washington State Department of Transportation wasted no time this evening in distributing its press release which, while avoiding triumphalist overtones, nevertheless makes the point that as far as the State is concerned it's full speed ahead.
State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond is quoted as follows: “Our analysis was thorough and exhaustive, and we hope that the ruling by Judge Martinez puts an end to the debate about mobility improvements to this vital corridor. With the court’s decision, WSDOT can continue with construction of SR 520 improvements as planned and funded." No mention, however, of the fact that the project, though certainly planned, is only partially funded at this point.
The Coalition, meanwhile, is mum on the issue of whether there will be an appeal of the court's decision. Coalition director Fran Conley tells us that she won't have any comment until she has time to absorb the decision--adding, however, that the decision is "disappointing" and the project itself is "still fiscally irresponsible and is still too damaging to the area."
The full court ruling has been published on line by WSDOT and is available here. The quote in the subheader above comes from Judge Ricardo S. Martinez's ruling on the matter.
[July bridge construction photo courtesy of WSDOT.]