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In the other way, I am sad. Maybe living here was a bad idea in the end.
I'm glad Gregoire is gone. But, really...this was the most fucked thing that we could have done for all the reasons Dominic listed in his original article. I partially blame the Sierra Club fuckers, and both McGinn and Dominic's constant embrace of those bike assholes, because their "Stop supporting cars" idiocy threw so much doubt on the critics of the tunnel that it drowned out all the real world and practical concerns over the tunnel manufacturing.
Now what do we do about it? We demand a backup plan (preferably a solid wall viaduct that cuts off all the fucking coastal views to the property owners who pushed this shit through) and we demand it be invoked now.
As if anybody would listen to us.
Great article. Thank you.
Before it broke down, there was talk of a mediator being called in because the meetings between the contractor and state were so contentious. Still are.
That said, time to pull the plug.
I didn't keep track of what his current work is, other than that it's elsewhere.
Yeah. let's have more Drunk of the Week type columns.
STP likely has a schedule but if I were them I wouldn't release it to anyone. the knives are out.
1. figure out what's going on with the dewatering. determine a safe rate of pumping for all the rickety historical fabric in P Sq.
2. get to the goddamn drill head.
3, pull it out and figure out wtf happened.
THEN release a new schedule.
@22- Drunk of the Week and other such columns were going on well before Dominic left. I like Dominic's work, but let's not start imagining golden ages when there were none. Nor should there be one. The Stranger is a dirty rag and I love it.
Why the Jews?
Why the bicyclists?
(If you weren't intentionally referring to it, you kinda walked right into it.)
1. Take Bertha apart. Piece at a time and sell it for parts/scrap
2. Take the 1000 feet of hole we've already dug and make it a museum to Seattle's idiotic leadership. See the cowardly mayor Paul Schell close down the space needle on New years because "terrorists!" See the wax museum mock up of "Nickelsville"! See the Seattle City Council put a monorail funding bill on the ballet 8 times in 20 years and STILL never make the goddamn thing! Just a testament to the stupidity of the local politics.
It would make Parks and Rec look like the West fucking Wing.
Oh whoa is us, mistakes have been made. Everything is so difficult, so costly.
It has been clear from day one that there is a sizable constituency in this state that would love to shove a rebuilt highway just like the existing viaduct but bigger safer and more more right down Seattle's historic waterfront. Those of us who grew up in (and with) Seattle can't abide by that, so we'll build this damn tunnel. No to more elevated concrete.
Cut and cover had it's merits (I was a yes) but couldn't get over the disruption. So be it, the Bertha disruption is still pretty small.
And while I have no doubt that eventually we'll have everything and more on the surface, that was never going to be the replacement for State Highway 99. I'm glad we're going to bury it at least, even if it takes a while. After we've spent multiple billions getting the rickety highway squished underground (and tolled), maybe then we'll be able to see that a spare billion or so for vastly improved mass transit is a good deal after all.
Now we get to carry on.
Stick a fork in Bertha, she's done
Jon Stewart would sum up the Sierra Club's participation in the debate as "You're not helping!"
And if "vastly improved mass transit" is something you think can be accomplished with "spare" funds, whether those funds be some fantastical billion dollars or some amount more worthy of the word "spare," that's an indication you have little idea what mass transit is or the sort of commitment it takes to make it "vastly improved."
Aaron, please don't insult the intelligence of those of us out there who actually care about vastly improving mass transit as much as you apparently care about vastly improving the downtown waterfront or vastly improving the experience of drivers who could use a north-south downtown bypass.
For anyone who actually cares about, or who has given any serious thought to, "vastly improved mass transit" in this corridor, the only real option out there (and it's an option that requires a real commitment from real voters and real taxpayers) ain't coming as part of the tunnel project. It's a new light rail corridor from Ballard to downtown and on to West Seattle that would be featured in a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure.
Also, I would like to see regular and frequent rail trips from Everett, to Seattle, to Tacoma and Olympia... to, you know, reduce pressure on I-5.
But no, those won't happen --if at all-- for at least another 20-30 years, IMHO.
I also seriously doubt I'll ever take the tolled SR99 Bertha Tunnel (should it be completed), except for maybe once or twice to just check it out... ON MY BICYCLE DURING CRITICAL MASS. :>P *
treacle, I'm curious as to the source of your pessimism. My understanding is that a downtown-to-Ballard route is among those being seriously considered for Sound Transit 3, which could go to the ballot in 2016. If it passes, then it's going to be another 20 years until it opens. But in my book, at least come the day after Election Day 2016 it's "happening," present tense.
To the extent that I have any pessimism about this, it would be about ST3 making the ballot at all in 2016. They can't unless they get the state legislature to authorize new funding sources, and I don't know how they're going to pull that off.
My point is that we started this civic project and now we're going to finish it too. We've gotten out of the habit of civic spending and that should change. There is abundant wealth to support the public commons, but we've taken to accepting that such wealth is unavailable. One of the things I expect will come out of the 99 tunnel (eventually) is an understanding that civic projects are worthwhile. Spending more on mass transit in such an environment is more likely than it is now.
From what I hear the light rail corridor dreamt of should go from West Seattle to Downtown, then continue on to Ballard (northward build out, not southward). Ballard is over built now anyhow and should probably sink under its own weight. Maybe we can build in both directions when we get back in the habit of spending on the public commons.
They managed to make Brightwater happen even with a broken machine. The downtown tunnel will get done, it's just a question of how much it will cost. I tend to think that it shouldn't take 2-3 hours to get from West Seattle to downtown during rush hour, so I'm in favor of it happening.
Careful study of the Box Cut-Cover Tunnel/Seawall reveals how Wsdot and Sdot directors and department heads committed fraud, rigged their studies AND the 2007 voter referendum. While it was ready for public review in 2006, it was kept under wraps until 2009. While Wsdot based objections against cut-cover tunnel options as too disruptive to construct, they kept this 'least disruptive' option out of the public discourse, probably gambling that voters would approve their elevated replacement monstrosity. Yet, it made it into the FEIS as the most ideal cut-cover.
We are at a crossroads, people. Wsdot committed fraud and now plan to use State transportation resources to dedicate the Pacific Northwest as a fossil fuel export corridor. Were their studies conducted honestly in this regard? No way.
But the Powers That Be sold you a bill of goods.
But that's mostly immaterial, because the real problem with the Alaskan Way tunnel seem to be the fact that there was virtually no contingency plan in place for what has happened, even though all the problems were eminently foreseeable, nor is there a plan in place for covering what may be enormous cost overruns. Was that also the case with Brightwater?
So yeah, even though it flew under the radar, it had a lot of the same issues the viaduct does. In many ways it was more serious, as if the Brightwater tunnel boring failed, it would've caused all new growth in North King and a big chunk of South Snohomish counties to grind to a complete halt. But they figured it out on the fly and got it done. It cost more money than originally planned to be sure, but they made it happen.
The same thing will wind up happening here.
It's funny how the Stranger was an adamant supporter of another huge megaproject that promised great things with a design-build contract. The Green Line Monorail project. They hid everything from the public for 9 months. Thankfully, lots of citizen activists didn't support the project and eventually the project was cancelled, before any dirt was turned. Sadly, that is not the case here.
Remember what ever you read is only part of the story. Regardless who writes the they're not all powerful and knowing. For the most part they're outsiders making assumptions regarding something they don't know the facts about.