This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Big day for transit news, I guess. The Port of Seattle is no longer interested in King County Airport. This is a big blow for Ron Sims, who now needs to find another way to pay for the BNSF rail corridor. The deal had been conceived by Sims and the old Port director, Mic Dinsmore, but his replacement has other ideas:
The Sims-Dinsmore deal drew fire from county council members who regard Boeing Field as an asset far more valuable than a recreational trail and who also are worried that the port would be less sensitive than the county to community fears about jet noise at the airport.
Port commissioners raised concerns about the actual value of the 77-year-old airport and the potential liability its owner would bear for the costs of cleaning up PCB contamination of a spur of the Duwamish River just across East Marginal Way from the property.
However, on the plus side:
[Port Executive Director Tay] Yoshitani told the Rotary Club the port also supports public ownership of the BNSF corridor — and is “willing to put significant dollars toward such a purchase.”
$103 million is a lot of money. There are only a few agencies that can swallow that: the Port of Seattle, Sound Transit, and the State of Washington (incl. WSDOT). I can’t think of any others with sufficient budgets. Maybe a collaboration between the Port and Sound Transit? Maybe ST could spend a few million less on glass walls and come up with the scratch? Just askin’….