Shut this fucking thing down now.

Sorry to all the folks who were banking on the leakage from the $billions to pay for their dream house, kid's tuition, that dream car, etc.

I second that: shut the tunnel project down now for good. Most of us native Seattleites never wanted a stupid tunnel anyway. We love our viaduct, where ALL of us can have a good view of the bay and sunsets. Build a new viaduct, Seattle! That would've been finished by now!
Meh all big cities collapse and build on top of themselves been going on for thousands of years. Just deal with it Seattle.
Wow, so cracks may or may not have formed in a street which is not really that close to the tunnel bore and y'all go chicken little. Guess what cracks streets? Freezing wet weather. Guess what? It's winter in Seattle. Get a grip.
Oh my God, there's cracks in the streets of Seattle??? Shut everything down! The end of the world has come! Some random person said that the cracks look different? Oh man, stellar choice of opinions there.

And for those people saying they love the viaduct.... what the hell is wrong with you? It's a decrepit, dangerous freeway with tons of traffic on it all the time. Why do you want to keep that? The earthquake comes and your lovely little elevated road kills dozens. Sounds good.
Mr Mayor- TEAR DOWN THIS VIADUCT & cancel Big Bertha Boondoggle NOW!

You are LITERALLY risking 100,000+ lives.


Full stop.
@1 @2 @3 for the Win!
But see, it COULD be due to me (but it's not), or it could just be a really, really old neighborhood. You don't know.

Have I mentioned that I would really like out of here?

Am I to understand that pumping tens-of-thousands of gallons of sludge per-hour from underneath Seattle's Pioneer Square over the period of several weeks is actually causing it's buildings and roads to shift? I thought everyone told them to stay where they were.
@9 Go home.
this is getting fun! a mystery!
Hell, for all we know the whole project is really a kind of twisted "eminent domain" scheme, where taking out old buildings along the way is a welcome feature if occurs instead of something the moneyed proponents fear or care about.
Too many opinions, too little information. Chicken Little says the sky is falling and Seattle is going to sink into Puget Sound. I have worked on the Sea Wall Project and the surrounding areas and there is no cause for alarm on the sinking of the area around Bertha. Nothing to see here, please keep moving.
Super comforting since I bike under the thing every day. Cool.
@7 but most of them are bums so, win?
Eckstein, the Viaduct is safer than half the buildings in Pioneer Square. It was built above code for its time and the engineers involved in building it built it to standards above those in the blueprints. It'll be standing long after many of the retrofitted brick facade buildings have been reduced to rubble.

I'd rather save the lives of thousands of office employees than worry about the potential lives of a few dozen on the wrong roadway at the wrong time.
I've got a sinking feeling about this!
Let's set aside the question of whether this crack has anything to do with Bertha. Let's also set aside the question of whether the viaduct is unsafe and needs to be shut down. Heck, that's true of many of this nation's bridges. What worries me is whether our political leaders are willing to consider a simple question. How much money is too much?

Anyone without a vested interest could agree that the taxpayers of this state and region should not be writing a blank check for the deep-bore tunnel.

I'm seeing the current project for the project proper at $3.1 billion. But we all knew this project was lowballed from the outset and that overruns would be inevitable.

I recall that this project figured to be a lot less complex than the Big Dig in Boston. The Big Dig ended up costing in excess of $20 billion. So for argument's sake, can we all agree that $20 billion is too much?

Then what is the figure which we can agree is the cut-off where we should pull the plug if that looms as a real risk? I don't have a good answer myself. To my mind, $10 billion would be an insane waste of money to produce a limited-access downtown bypass when there are other ways you could open up the waterfront. But then what number below that?

Of course, the project's most ardent supporters (the ones with a real vested interest and who aren't going to be on the hook for the costs) will argue that we already have X billions in sunk costs (literally "sunk costs" in this case). The pitch will go, you've already spent $6 billion; it will "only" take another $2 billion; you'd be foolish to stop now.

I'd also like to know what the current updated estimate is with all the delays.

I'm asking all this as an actual tunnel project supporter, if only to the extent that it's been the lesser of two evils, the greater evil being a new viaduct.
The solution is simple: fill the crack with waded up hundred dollar bills.
For outrage junkies, I suggest tying this to SPD, Ferguson, and the GOP for additional vindication of the prevailing narrative.
Dude, the notion that we should build a new viaduct so we can have good views while driving is the most asinine thing ever put to words.
@21: And Benghazi.
Holy shit. It seems the worst case scenario is actually going to play out.
What's the nouveau proverb I'm looking for here? The wind isn't at our backs.

Can this be bent into an argument for an income tax on the rich? Poor people without cars certainly aren't pushing for this government waste, why do they disproportionately pay for it?

Walton sisters should step up, they're the ones selling all that stuff coming in on the docks anyway.
@19: I'm curious, why do you feel a new viaduct is worse than a tunnel?
the sinking is one thing, and it's a real concern. however, i work for the city, and idiots report dumb shit ALL THE FUCKING TIME. i wouldn't be too quick to jump on the crack, y'all.
Anytime you put stuff underground, whether it be highways or utilities, it's going to cost a lot and there will be problems. That's why I always smile gently at people who tell me that all the power lines should be put underground.

On the other hand, replacing the viaduct with another viaduct is a dumb idea. That's some of the most valuable land on the west coast. Put it to use collecting tax revenue.

We could put in foot ferries between West Seattle and interbay, and increase the current West Seattle - Downtown ferry service, but we would need transit infrastructure to support that.

To me, the solution is to either soldier on with the tunnel (which I am not fond of) or just tear the viaduct down and let the traffic patterns adjust naturally. If the big one hit today, that's what we'd do.

Dislike of the viaduct shows lack of imagination and naive, childish aesthetic sense.
@32 Until you review the proposed 'replacement' viaduct designs and realize it is not an apple to apple comparison. The replacement option results in a much larger structure, effectively tripling the footprint around the Battery St. tunnel area - by memory.
The answer was (back then maybe still now) to repair it. I agree that a brand new Viaduct would not be a great idea.

And unless you are a structural engineer with specific knowledge of the Viaduct, any claims that it couldn't be fixed are pure conjecture one way or another.
Caution dear, I have no aesthetic sense, and I am not opposed to viaducts per se. I just think it's dumb to devote that much valuable real estate to moving cars and trucks, and ludicrous to try to appeal to populism. As for imagination, If your imagination can expand no further than maintaining the status quo, that is your cross to bear.
Let's see now... Dominic Holden wrote an article back in 2010 of all the things that could go wrong with this project. No. 1 on the list was Bertha getting stuck. No. 3 was the ground caving in.

How many more items on his list will be prove themselves prophetic before this boondoggle ends?
@32: that, or a belief in the basic principles of human-centered urbanism.
Not so.
Anyone with a decent aesthetic sense at all would understand the aesthetic potential of the Viaduct.
Why is "ground penetrating radar" in quotes? That is a real thing, you know.

Is a wink implied?
@35, the efficient moving of cars and trucks facilitates commerce, which provides tax revenue. Preventing that in order to create a park doesn't seem very logical.
Seatownr dear, I don't want a park in that space. I want to see development. It's view property. Max out it's taxable capability. The cars and trucks will find their way. They always do.

Caution dear, why don't you enlighten us neanderthals to the "aesthetic potential of the Viaduct." It sounds like a bunch of single occupancy cars being driven by jerks to me.
@23 Thank you. I don't get people who worry about losing such a great view of the city and waterfront, WHILE DRIVING. Please look at the great view of the road you're currently hurtling down instead.
My advice, as a start, is to take a look at the light-wrapped Viaduct columns. About Pike Street. They are fabulous. Much more could be done had we the imagination.
One can mention a highly visible, easily accessible source (google maps) without it being the only way they track something - it's just an easy way for others to track the thing who might not have access to the resources WSDOT does.

Please wait...

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