Is Seattle Today Windsor's Future
Tell me that this will not happen shortly here with all of the Mayor's Tunnel silliness. Just replace Seattle with Windsor and see how the story reads. As I have been warning about the $300 Million, read the last three paragraphs.
The Windsor Construction Association better get off their rear ends and start screaming! And fast!
Never mind what the Federal Budget says as I Blogged before. It's all political, like Windsor being so important to the economy and the border crossing being the #1 infrastructure priority. The Conservatives actually are deluding themselves by thinking they might be able to get someone elected here. They might have a slight chance if a certain person ran against Joe Comartin but otherwise it is a 2-way fight between Joe and Joyce Zuk for the Liberals.
Nothing is changing here
DOT rejects "tunnel lite" option to replace Seattle viaduct
02/13/2007 By RACHEL LA CORTE / Associated Press
The state Department of Transportation rejected Seattle's scaled-down four-lane tunnel proposal Tuesday, saying there are too many operational and safety concerns with the $3.4 billion design to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct.
The city has scheduled a March 13 public advisory vote on the "tunnel lite" option, as well as a cheaper rebuild of the viaduct — the elevated highway along Seattle's downtown waterfront.
But in a letter to Gov. Chris Gregoire, state Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald said that following a review of the tunnel plan, he "cannot recommend to you approval of this proposal as an acceptable viaduct replacement option."
Gregoire's spokeswoman, Holly Armstrong, said the governor was still reviewing the letter and would have a statement later in the day.
Democratic and Republican transportation leaders in the Legislature immediately issued a joint statement calling for replacing the viaduct with another elevated structure.
"Given what we know today, the state cannot support the city's proposal to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a hybrid tunnel project," Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, said in a written statement. "It makes absolutely no sense to replace an unsafe Viaduct with an unsafe tunnel."
Mayor Greg Nickels' spokeswoman, Marianne Bichsel, said the letter was "more of a political document than a technical report."
Bichsel said there is a "clear bias to shove a twice-as-big and uglier elevated structure on our waterfront."
"Are we going to accept Olympia telling us we have to have a bigger, uglier structure on our waterfront?" she asked. "I think the people of Seattle are going to say no."
Bichsel said the ballots for the advisory vote were going to the printer Tuesday, and there were no plans to change the language, which will allow city voters to say whether they prefer the tunnel, a new elevated structure, both plans or neither option.
"Absolutely not," she said. "It's up to the voters of Seattle. Voters of Seattle get to have their say and not rely on the biased opinions of Olympia."
An expert review panel disbanded last Friday, advising the governor that it would be impossible to do an adequate job of scrutinizing the cost and other issues about the tunnel plan within the hurry-up timeframe.
Bichsel said the state has done more than 2,000 hours of analysis of the smaller tunnel plan, and that the Department of Transportation came up with the pricetag.
On Monday, Republican transportation leaders in the House and Senate said that while the viaduct question is being sorted out, the money should be redirected to projects where initial phases are ready to go, such as a new Highway 520 bridge across Lake Washington and expansion of Interstate 405 in the suburbs east of Seattle.
"The delays with the viaduct replacement project are especially frustrating when there are other major projects that are just as important," Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, ranking member of the Senate Transportation Committee, said in the joint press release.
But while Gregoire on Monday said that the March vote would be flawed and without credibility, she said she's not ready to accept Republican calls to shift billions of dollars in state financing to other mega-projects.