The governors of Oregon and Washington on Thursday abandoned the proposed design of a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River after a report said concerns about cost and construction dangers could not be overcome.
In the latest setback for a project that has struggled for years to find an acceptable design, Govs. Chris Gregoire of Washington and John Kitzhaber of Oregon said they have instructed transportation officials to stop work on the ambitious bridge design that they've spent millions of dollars planning.
In lieu of the design that's been scrapped, officials will consider a more cost-effective, less risky alternative design—which is also described as "the least visually appealing." This sounds like the Alaskan Way Viaduct problem. As overpriced and inefficient as the deep-bore tunnel replacement might be—and how much more frugal and effective surface/transit may prove—the political realities (and engineering groundwork already laid) could leave Seattle no other choice but with the "least visually appealing" option—a larger new viaduct.