Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has some Bertha ideas. So lets vote (again!) on what to do about this tunnel / viaduct situation.
  • Kelly O
  • Seattle mayor Ed Murray has some Bertha ideas. So let's vote (again!) on what to do about this tunnel/viaduct situation.

Mayor Ed Murray has not exactly been forthcoming about his vision for the future of the Alaskan Way Viaduct (also known as the city’s most notorious clusterfuck). Back when the mayor went to go investigate the scene of a big ol’ crack on King Street in early December, neither he, nor the Seattle Department of Transportation, nor Seattle Tunnel Partners, nor the state could conclude whether it was the dewatering of Bertha’s rescue pit that caused the damage or the fact that Pioneer Square is, as Murray put it, “very old.”

If Bertha’s rescue operation hits any more delays—as many anticipate it will—does the mayor’s office have a Plan B? He's been mum about that, too. Until now! As Heidi noted in the Morning News, Murray recently told KIRO 7 he has a three-tiered tunnel contingency plan for 2015:

“Whether it's a tunnel, or whether it's some other type of tunnel or some other type of arrangement that we come up with for the central waterfront, the important thing is we find a way to make this corridor work,” Murray told the station.

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Interesting. Vague, but interesting.

We’ve reached out to Murray’s office for further clarification on what it all means, and—UPDATE—mayoral spokesperson Jason Kelly writes that the mayor "has directed the Seattle Department of Transportation to review and update the city’s viaduct closure plan to manage traffic along the corridor." It's unclear whether this contingency plan refers to the same one Heidi Groover learned about a couple of weeks ago, the one in which flatbed trucks loaded with equipment are ready to shut down the viaduct if necessary. In any case: Slog readers, what say you?