// Media/Links

Recent media about the tunnel — click on any headline to go read the full article.

Tunnel’s cost may fool us all

By Danny Westneat, Seattle Times

A professor at Oxford University in England has done a compelling series of studies trying to get at why big public-works projects such as bridges, tunnels and light-rail systems almost always turn out to be far more costly than estimated.

The unanswered question around the viaduct: Who pays for cost overruns?

By Kery Murakami, Seattle PostGlobe

Supporters of replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel went after mayoral candidate Mike McGinn over spreading “disinformation.” But McGinn has been raising a question that brings no easy answers from tunnel supporters.

Who ultimately pays if there are cost overruns?

The Deep-Bore Tunnel Is A Done Deal (Just Like The Monorail Was)

By Dan Bertolet, Hugeasscity

Is the deep-bore tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way viaduct a done deal?  Game over?  Should all those petulant whiners who don’t like it just suck it up and get over it, grow up and move on?

Intelligent Tunnel Design

By David Goldstein, Horse’s Ass

But don’t you worry about Seattle taxpayers being forced to pick up cost overruns on the Viaduct replacement, because thanks to “new technological advances” such mishaps could never happen when the state attempts to dig the largest diameter deep bore tunnel ever. I know that is so because the Discovery Institute says it is so, and there is no greater or more reliable source on issues of science and technology than those progressive folks at Discovery.

Brightwater likely caused Kenmore sinkhole

By Kristi Helm, Seattle Times

A sinkhole 15 feet deep, likely related to tunneling for King County’s new sewage-treatment pipeline, opened up in Pauline Chihara’s driveway early Sunday in Kenmore.

Damaged tunneling machine delays Brightwater opening

By Keith Ervin, Seattle Times

King County’s Brightwater sewage-treatment plant, already behind schedule, will be delayed months more because one of four tunnel boring machines has been damaged, the Wastewater Treatment Division announced Friday.

Boring details

By David Goldstein, Horse’s Ass

State lawmakers have put a lot of faith in deep-bore technology and the latest advances that, we’re told, will make the Viaduct tunnel possible. But apparently, not too much faith.  That’s why as a condition of providing a couple billion dollars of funding in the recently passed transportation budget, legislators threw in a provision that requires Seattle taxpayers to pull out their checkbooks for any cost overruns.

Why Does Frank Chopp Hate Seattle?

By Josh Feit

“I thought we were supposed to be about ‘One Washington’,” Carlyle said, referring to Majority Leader Rep. Frank Chopp’s mantra that all legislation is supposed to benefit the whole state and bring legislators (urban and rural, West and East) together. “So, why is one project in Seattle being treated differently than any other project in the history of the state?”

How Jan Drago dragooned a Viaduct solution

By C.R. Douglas

The revival of the Viaduct tunnel is one of the great political comeback stories of our region. After all, it was left for dead two years ago when Seattle voters turned down the idea by nearly 70 percent.

Driving Lessons

By Erica C. Barnett

City Council Treks to San Francisco, Checks Out Possible Alternative to the Mayor’s Viaduct Tunnel

State Sen. Ed Murray Not Keen on MVET Money as Part of Tunnel Plan

By Josh Feit

Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) says there are three reasons his viaduct bill doesn’t include any mention of the $120 million in motor vehicle excise taxes for expanded transit that were supposed to be part of the tunnel plan

Gregoire: ‘Watch me’ tear down the viaduct

By Chris McGann, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“That’s the timeline. I’m not going to fudge on it. And if we don’t have some alternative by then, boy are we going to have a mess on our hands because it’s coming down.”

Gregoire: 2012 deadline for viaduct replacement

The Oregonian

Asked if she could, as governor, unilaterally tear down the crumbling double-deck structure if there were disagreement about a replacement, Gregoire said: “Yeah, watch me.”

I Hate This Tunnel

By Andrew Smith, Seattle Transit Blog

The more I think about the tunnel to replace the viaduct, the less I like it. I am certainly glad that it isn’t a new elevated option, but that’s only a small consolation. I wanted the surface option. My reasons are below the fold.

Why The Tunnel Is So Wrong

By Dan Bertolet, Hugeasscity

And isn’t anyone the the least bit peeved about how the painstaking work of the viaduct stakeholders committee was completely blown off?  And is it not troublingly bizarre, even if you support the tunnel, that the deep-bore solution was never seriously considered before now?

Guest Columnists: Climate the loser in tunnel choice

By Cary Moon and Mike O’Brien, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Our elected officials missed an opportunity to make a cost-effective decision to move us toward a lower carbon and economically resilient future. There are still many decisions to be made, and future generations are counting on us to act boldly for the long-term health of the region.

No, Highways Are Never Growth Management

by Ben Schiendelman, Seattle Transit Blog

Paradoxically, the Viaduct is actually bad for mobility. Because it allows people to entirely bypass downtown, it encourages spread out development, and results in commutes that go from a neighborhood on one side of the city to a neighborhood on the other. This has two impacts.

Sightline Does the Math on the Seattle Viaduct

After following the Seattle Viaduct debate (see his series), Sightline research director Clark Williams-Derry does the math on the viaduct and comes to a few simple conclusions:

Tunnel quotes

“It's coming down in 2012. I'm taking it down--the middle. That's the timeline. I'm not going to fudge on it. And if we don't have some alternative by then, boy are we going to have a mess on our hands because it's coming down.”
said Governor Christine Gregoire [who now plans to leave the viaduct in place until 2015] (in Seattle Post-Inelligencer)