Regarding the Deep Bore


Always be campaigning.
The pro-tunnel side has used the tactic in trying to smack McGinn down, calling him an obstructionist and then a flip-flopper. They used it against anyone who questioned the tunnel, asking the rhetorical "why are you delaying, do you want people to die?"

And it almost worked.

For example:…


Baconcat is right. Look at their comments in the PI article on what the Governor said.

Suuuuuuure, nobody put that language in.

It just appeared by magic.

If it was popular, they'd put the Billionaires Tunnel up for a vote of Seattle citizens.

But it isn't popular. It isn't needed. It is a waste of scarce tax dollars. All for the vanity of a few people and the property developers who will get rich off of the public funds ripped out of every Seattle household for their greed.

Got $10,000? Cause the Governor thinks each and every Seattleite does - renters and homeowners - and she doesn't think we should get to VOTE on it.
Like that, yes.
The real fun will begin when we kill the tunnel, cause we all know there is consensus in Seattle about what to do then, right? Rebuild, here we come! Thanks guys.
You think the tunnel is unpopular? How about putting surface/transit up for a vote? You all ok with that?
ian, the real fun would begin the second the viaduct is closed down and traffic adjusted itself naturally without a bypass. The city, seeing increased travel times that aren't painful, will just shrug off the disruption and find new routes in a city full of excess capacity.

They may even start to take the bus.
Right, Baconcat, good luck with that. Oh, could you close down I-5 while you're at it? I hate that thing.
Oh, and are you willing to put that up for a public vote, Baconcat?
ian, stop pouting. :)
Also, ian, there's no need for a public vote if the tunnel is removed from the equation. Every option that remains requires the immediate shutdown and, except for retrofit, removal of the viaduct and years of remediation and construction.
#11 There is no need for a public vote on the tunnel, either. I don't know what "need" you're talking about.
They made the case to WSDOT that the tunnel was their responsibility, Paula Hammond agreed, so it keeps moving forward. Hammond was asked how she could reconcile WSDOT accepting responsibility with the bill that they legislature passed, she couldn't. The council did a good job splitting the "intent" from WSDOT accepting responsibility.

They changed the timing of the required action of the council to be during the state legislative session. The council did a good job splitting the current project activity from an undefined cost overrun in the future.

The bright light of cost overruns will shine on the legislature, the ball is back in their court.

What happens when the state takes the financial responsibility for its highway back?

What happens when the next highway appropriations bill is introduced this next session and it puts somebody else on the hook?
They have a policy problem.
If you successfully kill the tunnel, there are going to be tons of people who think a vote is "needed" on shutting down the viaduct, or implementing a surface street, or a rebuild, or anything else you want to do. It will be back to square one, with all the screaming and bickering and we'll have about 5 more votes and there will be no consensus, of course, and after years and years of this, something will once again be decided for us, and those on the losing sides will freak out yet again, and elect a mayor who agrees with them, and file more initiatives and demand more public votes, and on and on, ad infinitum.
MrBaker, you're trying to answer the wrong question by saying "who" rather than "how". The state has a firm limit on how much it will spend and that amount is set by the current monies made available and those projected into the future. Even if responsibility shifts, the question of "how" is not answered.

That "how" will ultimately include quite a large amount of money directly from Seattle voters, even if it's spread out over all voters or chopped out via tolls. And you can be assured that the state will not ask state citizens to foot the bill, so, again: how?
Yes ian, flip over the chessboard. If your preferred choice isn't built, nobody can be happy! NOBODY!
Flip Flop or not, the plan is sound just as long as the state pays 100% of the costs. But they wont. So any vote on the deep bore tunnel need only be a multiple choice vote with 3 options. To just have a yes/no vote on the tunnel, really is playing with lives.

Option#1) Dig a Deep Bore Tunnel. (4 billion)
Option#2) Tear down AWV & Rebuild it. (1 billion?)
Option#2) Tear down AWV & dont rebuild, pave 2 lane road, 2-3 red lights, cross walks, etc. (50 million?)

isn't the seawall another couple hundred million on top of this?
@15, no, your mayor is asking the simple question, he keeps saying "who".
If that is a problem then take it up with him.
So now I officially do not give a fuck what happens with any of this.

I feel better now.
Known Greg Nickels appologist, Dominic Holden, "McGinn's response, however, is a little weak. He doesn't address the issue of how much his option would cost. After all, it's McGinn's turn to answer this question: If the problem is that the city can't afford to pay $930 million for a tunnel, how can it pay $936 for the surface transit option? Instead McGinn just asks more questions in his next press release:"…

Surface option costs Seattle 6 million more.
I am constantly amazed at how many chicken littles think that the deep bore tunnel is bound to be a disaster but other options will be a walk in the park. (Remember, ALL public projects come in at 30%. 50%, 100%, 200% over budget no matter what their budget is, or so they say!) A response to some of the options:
Rebuild the viaduct: It will be much bigger and hulkier than the current one because of existing seismic codes, and making foundations on pilings in varying soils is far from free of unexpected conditions. In addition, it would require demolishing the current structure (a long and tedious process, it's not going to be imploded like the kingdome) and then building the replacement, therefore subjecting the waterfront and adjacent businesses to years of disruption.
Cut and cover tunnel: Depending on the location, if it's in the same path of the existing viaduct see above for disruption. In any case, it is shallow enough that it would probably require relocating all understreet utilities, and possibly shoring up adjacent building foundations.

The advantage of the deep tunnel is that it will be deep enough to be closer to more stable soil, and miss underground utilities and building foundations. It also will allow the viaduct to stay open during construction (except if the big one happens).
To those who say that the only ones to benefit from the tunnel will be the rich developers and the rich people who buy their condos, I have this to say:
The tunnel/waterfront/seawall project will create hundreds of jobs
The rich developers will pay millions of dollars in real estate excise tax and sales tax when they buy their properties
The rich developers will hire architects and engineers to develop their properties which creates hundreds of jobs.
The rich developers will then hire contractors who will pay business taxes and sales tax, as will their many sub contractors .

The people who buy the bajillion dollar condominiums on the waterfront will pay lots of money in sales tax and real estate excise tax.
All of this goes into the city coffers to benefit you people in Fremont and Spokane.
Your Friend
A licensed architect for 30 years who has worked both for the city of Seattle and private firms.
We already had a vote on the tunnel and the viaduct, and the surface street option. We also had a vote on the monorail, and the stadiums. The efforts of the Stranger should be documented as a well established exercise in futility. Just sayin. The tunnel was a done deal a year ago.

Your too late to the game. Better off trying to stop the construction of Safeco...

@19: "Your mayor"? Sounds like you're taking your ball and going home. Just as well, seeing your prior predictions, your predictions of disaster, your screaming about how McGinn won't get along with the Council, blah blah blah. It's pretty typical of the Tunnel Everywhere Already crowd to pretend this is the primary issue of McGinn's mayorship. Ignoring, of course, that he's worked with the Council in many arenas and is currently sitting down (or was as of a few minutes ago) having a chill night with Richard Conlin at a joint mayor-council campaign.

But I digress.

The questions our mayor is asking are pointing at the big question: who will pay, and how will they do it? Your lackwitted attempts at lodging opposition into an easy to attack position ignore the fundamental point that McGinn and others are making, which McGinn summarized as such in his recent memo opposing the council agreement :

What will happen if and when the project hits the State funding cap? Who will pay for any cost overruns on the project? Where will the money come from?

While he simplifies to the "who", most anyone who hears that will make the logical connection to asking "and if it's the state, how will they pay if they are having shortfalls? And if it's not the state, how will they get the money". Your response thusfar has been a lukewarm game of diversion and hot potato with no foundation in any rational explanation. Just your typical fashion of underexplaining, a bland game of "overruns? What's that behind your ear? Oh, it's a quarter"

Propagandizing with such simple tropes as "the overruns won't happen, the state will take care of overruns" is just as meaningless and intellectually dishonest as most any caricatured argument you'd find in an Orwell novel. Two legs good, four legs bad. And so on.

I've asked a very simple question. You've given a non-answer regarding the "who", but even though everything you've said so far smacks of dithering and dodging, I still submit to you a very sincere question, since the tunnel has been your obsession for well over a year: if the state is the "who", then what is the "how"?

I'd go on to ask you what would happen if the state fails to secure adequate funding and exhausts all other avenues, but that seems beyond your grasp at this point. You've never been good at making projections (see: your 51 - 48 prediction in favor of Jim Mallahan).

There was never a vote on the surface street option - those in government who support(ed) it knew better than to let the public weigh in, as it would have lost by a wider margin than the tunnel did (let alone a new Viaduct).

(and people voted no on the baseball stadium).

Leave it up to a Seattle "Reporter" to bored by all those long meetings where they talk about, oh "like Government and stuff".

@22 - Just a small point: Utilities along Alaskan Way are already slated for relocation due to the seawall project.

@24 - Shifting topic just a bit, using numbers from some of your other posts you've pretty much stated that the Alaskan Way surface option would be 4 lanes with 40-50,000 ADT on it at acceptable LOS. The current alignment carries ~12,700 ADT on 4 lanes.

How do we approximately quadruple the number of vehicle trips on the waterfront while keeping it pedestrian friendly? It seems like putting those additional trips on a similar number of lanes would require a drastic increase in vehicle speed, assuming good LOS.
@27: That's the function of a couplet, traffic flow is split up into two places. Because the peak rush hour typically sees the most traffic in a 90 minute span and the peak usage of the waterfront (or any Tourist venue) is pretty much an hour after and an hour before any peak time, pedestrians will almost never interact with traffic of any great magnitude. Well, no more than they normally would in Seattle and certainly less than in a successful and vibrant city.
By the way, the pressure is working.
@5 - yes. the consensus is we should tear down the existing Viaduct for safety reasons and rebuild the Seawall. While providing increased transit during the teardown.

What we do after that is a separate discussion.
@28 - Yes, it is a couplet. Hence the comment on speed and 'livability' of the alignment.
@31: It's easily manageable. Peak volumes would be limited and peak flow would be steady, especially on a metered corridor with few cross streets. This is one benefit to having the corridor at the base of a large bluff, it naturally segregates traffic.

For the remainder of the day, by nature of Seattle's traffic cycles, it would be quiet. Primarily after 10am and before 5pm. Tourists won't have to play Frogger to get to the waterfront, and line of sight and visibility of the waterfront would be enhanced.

Having cars moving or standing in front of you does little to hinder tourist flow. Times Square is a snarl of traffic on all sides (and up 'til last year, right through its center), but because it's visible and well-known, tourists flock there. Amusement parks are surrounded by a sea of parked cars and traffic, but because it's visible and well-known, tourists flock there.

Hell, the Space Needle is far removed from Downtown and people still flood over there, through all the Denny and Mercer traffic, even. Walking, driving, biking, monorailing.

This tired prediction of a degraded way of life and diminished tourist counts run contrary to reality.
@32 - I'm just stuck on visions of Lakeshore Drive in Chicago and what it does to the waterfront there.

We are still talking 2-3 times as much traffic in each direction as is there currently, and probably at higher velocity. If you had a link to a WSDOT traffic analysis it would help - I did look but didn't readily find anything on this to read.
Another elevated structure would be entirely predictable in terms of cost and I'm sure that the state legislature would be very happy to remove the cost overrun provision in that case. Frank Chopp is ready to go, SLOG, you should have a feature on his Choppaduct. So kewl.