Several folks have been asking me to post the editorial from yesterday's Tacoma News Tribune that warns of the state's $230 million in sweetheart concessions to bidders on the deep-bore tunnel, notes the dwindling reserves for cost overruns as a result, and argues the legislature should defend a law that says Seattle must pay. Here's a piece of it:
That’s the deal under which Seattle — in exchange for getting a tunnel rather than a new viaduct or surface option — was required to accept the risk of cost overruns. The same deal that Seattle politicians are trying mightily to undo or outright deny.
The Seattle City Council is fighting Mayor Mike McGinn to keep the project on track, but even the council seems to be operating on the assumption that state lawmakers won’t have the gumption to follow through on billing Seattle property owners should the viaduct project run over budget.
If push comes to shove, the Legislature must do as it said it would: Hold Washington taxpayers’ harmless for Seattle’s insistence that the state go the gold-plated route to replace the quake-damaged viaduct.
For the record, Governor Chris Gregoire insists, "There's no reason to expect cost overruns."