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Quite the contrary, as it were. There is no whining here. There is a restating of the situation as is, and cleverly building a case that no one group really has any idea what's going on, or if anything CAN be done relative to this cluster$@#&.
The vocal minority, in this case, was ignored in favor of something potentially/metaphorically shiny, zippy, and it was a total snake-oil sale. Now the populace, including we, the vocal oppositional minority to this entire project from the get-go, is going be stuck with a mega bill for something that was never going to work in the first place.
$20 says it's not.
Nice work, Dom.
Gregoire has to be suspect #1.
She spent her entire last term ramming through the tunnel.
And Mike McGinn who was elected on the single issue of stopping the tunnel, ended up creating the plebiscite that enabled them to sidestep all opposition and proceed!
In effect, you have to question the legitimacy of the entire government in Olympia!
in case you all weren't aware earlier, massive infrastructure projects are hard work, and unforeseen things go wrong. which often causes delays and additional expense.
while Bertha's being extracted and repaired, what is there to say, especially to opponents like Holden? "so sorry, let's give up"?
When a city the size of Vancouver does just fine with zero highways going through it seems very unlikely that we really need two.
4.2 billion could buy a lot of light rail.
@10 is correct
The tunnel was such a stupendously stupid idea in the first place, but what is more predictably stupid is the Seattle panic.
The minute there are the inevitable problems on large projects, Seattle collectively shits itself and bails. Like they always do. On everything. Desperately attempting to externalize the responsibility onto, somebody - anybody - else.
Nope. Like Bertha we are stuck with this tunnel now. There is no turning back.
Zillions of pro-tunnel to nowhere advocates claimed that Bertha could chew through anything, yet it hits a rebar and castrophe ensues?
If it ever gets fixed, and that's a major big IF, it will be encountering considerably more obstacles than a rebar!
Public opinion swings on catchphrases and is pretty much limited to one villain per issue.
Ya know, perhaps it could become yet another tourista attraction in Seattle, though:
then, when the Romantic movement independently re-emerges, some poet will write about it: "My name is Bertha, queen of queens..."
Seattle city government is obviously corrupt. Full stop. Didn't they just approve a massive back scratch raise to a guy who basically covers there asses at Seattle Power and Light?
Called "Induced Demand": build a road and drivers will show up to drive on it, such that traffic congestion is not reduced with bigger roads. However, it also works the other way too: Reduce roads and drivers go away. Counter-intuitive, perhaps, but a proven fact.
Sadly, this truism has been known for some time, but perhaps Murray and Gregoire didn't get the memo about all the large freeways being dismantled around the world with no significant change in traffic congestion.
Too late for us!!
I think we should move the City Council Chambers down into the Tunnel.
Seeing an even larger opportunity for swindle, the same construction crooks came up with the tunnel, which wasn't exposed as a scam in the early stages like the monorail. Only after we saw how big the hole is, and what a piece of junk we paid for to create it, do we realize we got hustled again. Since less than half of the city's current voters ever heard of WPPSS, fooling them with fancy drawings & promises of greatness (world's widest tunnel!) isn't very difficult.
Hey guys -
Should we spend $4.2 billion of taxpayer dollars to build this thing that nobody wants, or do nothing? It'll have the same end result!
Yeah, let's spend the fucking money, because #YOLO or whatever.
How are we any different?
Thanks, all the fucks named above!
Tom's Tunnel to Nowhere?
The Tunnel Museum?
Dammit Watson, we need a meme!
The Seattle Shaft?
McGinn's Last Laugh?
Seattle has a great history of punning on pols. The Internet Age, or the Online Comments Age, has come up with a few beauties that added anchors that sunk a few buffoons-
The Mayor McCheese and Nicklesville memes definitely hammered Mayor Snowplow's political future.
If the collective genius of Seattle humorists could just come up with a good one to forever tarnish our latest boondogglists?
Please, please smart people, something that will stick forever, that maybe doesn't have such obvious sexual connotations?
Well, I foolishly thought that maybe the fact that they run AIRCRAFT carriers over the CBB&T, and they do the same over the Chunnel might make a for a bit of extra thought. I was mistaken.
The difference is that the Seattle waterfront tunnel will not put Seattle's "transportation infrastructure in a position to keep up with demands"
It will at best replace capacity demand as measured 5 years ago, in the fastest-growing city in America.
Yes, it will "transform the landscape." Which will be appreciated primarily by people idling in rush-hour traffic on city streets.
Yes, it will "unlock billions of dollars in property values," for the the handful of landlords who own property just behind today's viaduct.
And it will lock or lower tens of billions in property values for those who own property in West Seattle, Burien, Sea-Tac, Gerogetown, White Center, and other areas where people with jobs or bus connections downtown are living today.
The project is a wealth transfer away from home owners in Seattle's southern neighborhoods and near-suburbs, and into the coffers of downtown Seattle's old-money property owners.
We should remember not just that these politicians supported the tunnel, but also their relentless demonizing of McGinn and anyone else who dared to question their "wisdom." Remember Gregoire denouncing McGinn as a "disgrace?" Remember all the times Murray and Rasmussen and Conlin ridiculed and vilified McGinn and other tunnel opponents for not marching in step? And now Murray's our mayor, and we are truly fucked.
Outstanding. . .
So at least we'll keep treading water. OK, I'll chalk that as a win. And it's not just workaday commuters that matter here. This is getting freight into and out of the Port. I'd like to protect those well paying union jobs if at all possible.
> Yes, it will "transform the landscape." Which will be appreciated primarily by people idling in rush-hour traffic on city streets.
... and those poor drones on the lower floors of downtown office buildings. And those stupid tourists on the (now much brighter) waterfront. Or really anybody who doesn't want to see a gash of a road on the face of our city.
> Yes, it will "unlock billions of dollars in property values," for the the handful of landlords who own property just behind today's viaduct.
Because there are no small business owners or property owners in all of downtown Seattle. Nobody who will benefit from having this eyesore removed but big landlords. I get ya... totally makes sense to keep this city fugly to spite big business. Let's take this to it's logical conclusion and stop all city services to those building owned by large corporations. Those rotting piles of garbage will sure show them!
Unfortunately, Bad News Bertha continues to gives us a colonoscopy we never ordered or quite agreed to.
To everyone who rammed this terminally broken pipe cleaner up our collective ass: I TOLD YOU SO!
Fucking fucked up Tunnel
Fucking fucking Tunnel
Fuck the fucked up Tunnel
Dominic: thanks for all your great coverage on this over the years. I wish it had greater impact.
"Ron Paananen, the Washington State Department of Transportation project manager for the Highway 99 tunnel project (afterwards-accepted a job in Washington, D.C., with private engineering firm CH2M HILL - tunnel builders) "Paananen has been one of the tunnel's biggest defenders for six years while ushering the project through a contentious public debate.
An expert on the project, he was frequently called on at Seattle City Council meetings and public hearings to answer detailed questions about the project and defend it. Increasingly, he found himself pinned between pro-tunnel city and state officials and tunnel opponents, who sought to discredit him.
Last month, he and other tunnel supporters won a major victory when 58 percent of Seattle's primary-election voters indicated support of the project by approving a referendum.
"Technically, the vote didn't really legally affect the project in a big way, but I think everybody recognizes the significance of the public voting the way they did," Paananen said. "In my mind, they were saying, 'Let's get on with it.' "
"CH2M HILL is one of the largest engineering and design firms in the world and frequently does work for the state, although it is not directly involved in the tunnel project." (nudge nudge ;;)
The company gave $500 to the pro-tunnel referendum campaign, Let's Move Forward, in July. (It also contributed $250 last year to the office fund of anti-tunnel Mayor Mike McGinn.)
Paananen leaves the project at a natural point, with environmental reviews complete, the public process virtually finished, and tunneling set to begin next year.
"In my view, he was the glue that kept the project together and moving through the pretty contentious political events of the project-development phase," said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.
"He's one of the best examples of a public servant that I've run into," said City Councilmember Tim Burgess, a tunnel supporter. "There were times when it was really tough for him. He was on a hot seat, and he handled it incredibly well."
…"However, City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, the council's lone tunnel opponent, praised Paananen for giving him straight answers, even when the two men disagreed. One of the things I really admired about Ron is as someone with an engineering background, he was more interested in talking about facts instead of any kind of political spin," he said."
The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the freight that comes through these ports is undeniably (according to all but Metro)a driving force for bringing an additional 140,000 vehicles a day, many of them diesel-powered big rigs through the communities lining the 210 freeway. We want to see them utilize modern technologies that are safer, cleaner and more economical to move freight; and we want them to implement transportation solutions that offer commuters more choices.
Although we wish the citizens of Seattle and the State of Washington no harm, every snafu with your project validates the concerns predictions of those of us who see the LA project for what it is -- a folly of gigantic proportions and consequences.
If you would like to help prevent a recurrence of Seattle's misfortunes from happening elsewhere, and contribute to our effort to make electeds and other officials sit up and listen to reason, please go to www.no710.com and consider signing our online petition.
Button it. The STP is responsible to design and build the tunnel. Yep, nobody has built a tunnel there in the history of the universe. STP took the contract and raised the price to cover the risk. If their tool fails (yep, it has) then they will be all over the tool builder (who has never built one that large) because the tool builder raised their price to STP to cover the risk of issues (like the bearings crumbling).
The schedule also had extra time to account for delays like we see now. It's how construction work, Chicken Little. Get over it. And button it.
I will continue my inquiry, and will continue to ask difficult questions of the governing principles of our city in order to try to get them to open their eyes to the problems we're facing.
So, what, exactly, is your point? That we shouldn't be concerned about a $4.2 billion project that has failed so far, that may never be completed, and that won't even improve traffic in Seattle? Why should we not be concerned by this? Why is this not a big issue? Chicken Little, my ass. More like Cassandra.
Keep your head in the sand. You seem to enjoy it there.
Don't worry, we have many years to figure out what to do when the tunnel opens. Decades even.
. ( "The state predicted in 2011 that the tunnel would cause roughly as much traffic congestion on city streets as simply tearing down the viaduct and doing nothing")
string them up and let them rot.
I've lived here since 1971. Soon thereafter talk about mass transportation began. But only talk. And that talk continued for four decades.
I'd say "we the people" should by now clearly see the modus operandi of local government. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me ten times, shame on me. No sound-minded person in this city could possibly have swallowed the malarkey that a gargantuan tunnel was in any way going to be a more salient solution than the other possible options.
Most of what you say is accurate, but your reference to WPPSS is completely off base. The people of Seattle put LOTS of pressure on Seattle City Light in the 1970's and early 1980's and succeeded in keeping City Light out of the WPPSS plan.
"We live on the San Andreas Fault".
Um, "No, we do not live on the San Andreas Fault." It ends about forty miles out to sea northwest of Fort Bragg California, almost five hundred miles south of Seattle.
In point of fact, the San Andreas Fault ENDS at the boundary of the subsea plate which under runs North America in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Yes, the stresses which have produced the San Andreas are the same stresses that have produced the off shore fault giving rise to the historic subduction earthquakes the Northwest has experienced. But it's not "The San Andreas Fault". That's just Faux News geology.
However, Ron P killed the idea of an iconic bridge by having consultants create a bridge "Alternative" in deep water, out in the SeaTac flight path and in shipping lanes. None of his consultants objections would have had merit if the bridge location would have gone over shallow water, over the aquarium and the ferry terminal -- straight south to Pier 46! All we need is a bridge high enough to allow the ferries below.
Please keep up your quest Dominic!
Well, quite a bit, as we've seen by now. Should we expect that constructions will take longer than expected and have some cost overruns? Yes (though it means that the project managers aren't doing their jobs). But here's the thing -- who among us think that when the tunnel finally gets done, that it's going to be SAFE? Who wants to be in the tunnel built on unstable ground, next to the ocean, the next time we have a major earthquake? Not me.