Hey! You are doing it right!
Thanks for posting not just the most recent work in progress but the earlier one the city got in the spring. This calls for a cup of tea to settle in with. I'm surprised how few comments the city made, but delighted some look a bit silly.
go journalism!
My phone doesn't do zip files.
wow, those files are huge. Not only does your phone not do zip files, it probably couldn't even manage to download them at that size.

While the huge zips download - I'm reading the PDF of Mayor's comments. Wow, it is obvious McGinn hates the tunnel and wants it to appear as negative as possible in the report. Some pushback from WSDOT on some of those. Also, a repeated statistic from the campaign days a year ago which was called out as a lie then, that 60% of viaduct traffic uses downtown exits, is smacked down by the WSDOT response: No, 42%. Good for WSDOT for having the balls to stand up to McGinn.
I had a science teacher called Mr. Baker. I don't think his phone did zip either.
Good journalism.....BAD.
"Must read now......"
@5, the City has been able to read the draft since May - the comments you point to didn't necessarily come from the mayor's office. Council and SDOT have been chewing on it since May as well, so I'm sure some input must be theirs.

Though it's possible the "are you SURE you don't mean 60%" could be McGinn taking another crack at it, it as well could be someone wanting WSDOT to highlight the authenticity of the study results people have tried hardest to shake.
And all this study-releasing reminds me: wasn't McGinn's tunnel consultant Thom Neff going to have released his full study, the one from which he drew such ominous conclusions in those posts that went up last week? Didn't he say it'd be out for us day before yesterday at the lastest? Donde esta?

Dom, you quote him again in the paper out today - have you seen his report, or asked him when it'll be ready?
@7, ok, but it says Mayor in the title, and I believe where the "agency" column says MO, it stands for "Mayors Office" which is all of the questions.

Q28 is another slam to one of McGinn's oft-repeated and known inaccurate talking points.

@8) It was posted a couple days ago:
@9, thanks, I see what you mean - and of course "Reviewer - Marquardt" is probably Carl Marquardt, the mayor's office lawyer.
Thanks, Dominic. A simple little report, no? If I missed your story on it, I'm sorry, I should take vitamins.
This explains the council's backpedaling toward a more neutral position on the tunnel.
WOW. The mayor's office made some excellent points and caused positive change in your last PDF document. Great job, mayor's office and Dominic!!!
Seconded, @14. Here's some delightful bits from the Mayor's review:

-WSDOT claims the stakeholder group recommended the tunnel, McGinn's office called them on that. WSDOT relented and admitted it was an act of Nickels, Gregoire and Sims

-WSDOT admits they did not study effects on pedestrians and cyclists

-The most awesome was WSDOT deleting the remarks of "broad-based support" for the DBT, something confirmed by polling.
Oh my fucking god, these documents are like environmentalist christmas.
From WSDOT's own DEIS, chapter 5, simply closing the viaduct would decrease traffic volume and vehicle hours traveled would not change. It also shows that the impact of the viaduct on the region is non-existent. It's a very Seattle-specific thing.

Imagine what would happen if, along with closing the viaduct, we upgraded roads and transit in the region?
It also shows that within 15 years, delays in the bored tunnel would match or exceed the effects of closing the viaduct with no replacement.

In short, the tunnel does nothing positive and eventually becomes a burden on Seattle area traffic.

Straight from WSDOT's own pretty little fingers.
@17 hahahahahahahaha

So in other words, ALL of this has been a giant waste of time, and all we have to do is... tear down the Viaduct, and call it a day.


No wonder WSDOT was terrified enough of this FOIA to consider an injunction until McKenna's AG office advised against it. They needed more time to whitewash these documents. Game, set, match.
it bugs me they get so detailed about how little it will change anything on i-5 but then are really general about the changes to downtown traffic caused by removing those 3 exits from 99. they glaze over that in comparison.

some interesting stuff is crossed out showing shifts in attitude.

some cliff notes copy/pasted:

VHD, which is often
10 an indicator of congestion, is expected to increase by about
11 7 percent for the 2015 Bored Tunnel compared to the 2015
12 Existing Viaduct. This expected change in VHD within the
13 transportation system in the center city area is likely due to
14 changes in access proposed with the Bored Tunnel Alternative.
15 As a result of these access changes, specifically the removal of
16 the Elliott and Western and Columbia and Seneca ramps, more
17 traffic is expected to use city streets for a longer portion of
18 their trip than they would using the existing viaduct.

Removing the Elliott and Western ramps would
20 change traffic patterns and volumes on SR 99, such that this
21 traffic volume (representing about one-third of SR 99 traffic)
22 would likely travel one of two ways—either these drivers
23 would use the bored tunnel and ramps at Republican Street to
24 access Mercer Street or they would travel on Alaskan Way.

The Bored Tunnel Alternative would remove approximately
24 570 parking spaces, as shown in Exhibit 2-20.

The Bored Tunnel Alternative would demolish the Alaskan
23 Way Viaduct and decommission the Battery Street Tunnel,
24 which are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
25 (NRHP).

16 How would permanent effects be mitigated?
31 The Bored Tunnel Alternative is expected to have few long32
term adverse effects on the surrounding area. The best way to
33 mitigate long-term effects of a project is by avoiding and
34 minimizing them where feasible through design.
1 The effect of changed traffic patterns would be mitigated
2 through publicity and appropriate signage directing drivers to
3 the best routes for reaching the retail and commercial areas and
4 access to appropriate parking locations.
5 Though many negative project effects can be avoided or
6 minimized by good design, the project would cause some long7
term effects. Travel times for some trips, like trips from West
8 Seattle to downtown during the AM peak hour are expected to
9 increase. For other trips, travel times would be similar to the
10 2015 Existing Viaduct, or they may decrease. Travel time
11 increases may be offset by improvements planned by the City
12 of Seattle for Alaskan Way, including the new Elliott/Western
13 Connector.
14 Some properties would be acquired to build the new ramps,
15 portals, and other improvements included in the project. The
16 lead agencies will provide relocation assistance to the affected
17 property owners and tenants. Relocation assistance will comply
18 with the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real
19 Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended.

17 What permanent adverse effects of the project
21 would not be mitigated?
22 All significant permanent effects of the Bored Tunnel
23 Alternative can be avoided or mitigated.

Effects on historic resources during construction could occur
18 from settlement as the tunnel boring machine

settlement may
32 cause further extensive structural damage, if unmitigated.
33 Mitigation measures to protect the building may not prevent
34 the need for demolition to avoid the possibility of collapse.

People living or working
7 within approximately two blocks of the construction zones at
8 each portal would likely be most affected by construction
9 activities.

Because the Bored Tunnel avoids many adverse effects and
2 replaces an existing highway it has no cumulative effects on:
3 ▪ Historic, cultural, and archaeological resources
4 ▪ Public services and utilities
5 ▪ Earth and groundwater
6 ▪ Hazardous materials
7 ▪ Fish, aquatic, and wildlife species and habitat
8 ▪ Air quality
9 ▪ Energy
10 ▪ Greenhouse gasses
All the buildings they think can or will be damage from the tunnel construction. From chapter 6, page 33 of the revised:

12 However, two buildings, the Western Building
13 and the Polson Building, may experience settlement that could
14 damage the structures. These buildings that are contributing
15 buildings in the Pioneer Square Historic District and are further
16 discussed in Question 24 of this chapter.

From Chapter 24, page 45: "How would historic properties be affected during construction?"

12 The anticipated amount of settlement along the alignment is
13 typically small with mitigation measures in place to minimize
14 settlements. However, tTwo properties that are contributing
15 buildings in the Pioneer Square Historic District may
16 experience severe settlement that could damage the buildings:
17 ▪ Western Building (619 Western Avenue)
18 ▪ Polson Building (61 Columbia Street)
19 Because of the existing poor structural condition of the Western
20 Building, the estimated settlement of 2.4 inches or more if
21 unmitigated may cause further extensive structural damage.
22 Measures to protect the building may not prevent the need for
23 and may require demolition to avoid the possibility of collapse.
24 The Polson Building may also experience an estimated 2.2
25 inches of settlement, if unmitigated. However, this building is
26 in good structural condition and protective measures prior to
27 construction, along with high levels of monitoring during
28 construction, would prevent major structural damage, and the
29 remaining structural and aesthetic damage could be repaired.
30 These buildings are assessed in more detail in the Section 4(f)
31 Evaluation.

These buildings are:…

It then goes on to list an additional 12 structures that can be negatively affected by the tunnel construction. Some highlights are the Maritime Building, the Federal Building, various hotels, a fire department station, and the Seattle Housing Authority building. Page 47:

11 All of these except the Federal Building are also Seattle
12 landmarks. These buildings may experience utility disruptions,
13 and cracks or other aesthetic damage from settlement that
14 could be repaired. One additional potentially affected building
15 is a Seattle landmark and is not eligible for listing in the
16 NRHP:
17 ▪ Watermark/Colman Building (1107 First Avenue)
#18--"It also shows that within 15 years, delays in the bored tunnel would match or exceed the effects of closing the viaduct with no replacement.

In short, the tunnel does nothing positive and eventually becomes a burden on Seattle area traffic."

and to be extra depressing: keep in mind that environmental impact statements are done by consulting firms that also went through a bidding process to get the work, and so the best people for the job may not be the ones who get it. Mr. Canuck does this, and was once under-bid by a huge amount, the other guys got the job, then had to admit they had no idea how to do the work, and hired my husband as a sub-contractor! Sometimes the company that has a history of providing the *right* results (read: pro development) will be the one that gets the job. Just sayin'....
Nothing like a little light to shine into the darkest corner on plans conceived in a graveyard by a cabal.
oh, and in case you missed it:

I Agree With Baconcat.
Good job, Dominic!

Despite Ron Panaanen's worries about this being an unfinished document (which, to be fair, you should continue to point out in follow-up discussions), it's fascinating to catch a glimpse of how they are editing and changing the tone of the document in response to reviews.
I can't believe they're still planning on going ahead with this. $10,000 from each person in Seattle ... to drill a hole in the ground?

How long will this tunnel last when Global Warming brings the ocean up 3 feet? 6 feet? Read the projections! Will this tunnel only be good for 50 years before it's underwater?

I've had a peek at Thom Neff's review and the document of Mayor's office comments/ revisions. The Mercer West Preject is inextricably related to the DBT and must be scrutinized.

Look carefully at SDOT's Mercer Rebuild 1st Phase (aerial view) and WSDOT conceptual designs for the DBT north portal.

Westbound Mercer thru-traffic is directed from 'right lane' at 8th Ave into the Broad Street Underpass, and from which an entrance to the DBT, Tunnelite, or the surface/Transit option is evidently possible.

Why widen Mercer to 6-lanes and rebuild the Aurora bridge? Widening Mercer adds a stoplight and forces traffic to change lanes Left and make a Left Turn, and stops eastbound traffic at the bottom of the Mercer Underpass. What!?

Is WSDOT padding the bill and raiding the treasury by widening Mercer to 6-lanes?
Is designating Mercer Street the main corridor for thru-traffic sensible?
What is the environmental impact from so much more traffic to Lower Queen Anne District?

The DBT closes the Battery Street Tunnel. Tunnelite and the Surface/Transit option retain this connectivity between South Lake Union and Lower Belltown.…

This is Parsons/Brinkerhoff CG video of a 'stacked' SIX-LANE cut/cover Tunnelite Sept 2007. The ramps to Battery Street Tunnel in Lower Belltown are retained.
Once again, all is vanity, not solutions.

Please wait...

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