An advisory panel has narrowed the replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct down to two options, and surprise… neither is state House Speaker Frank Chopp’s mile long Suicide Park Mall.
One is an elevated-bypass hybrid that would run along the waterfront on two independent bridge structures side by side with two lanes in each direction. It would connect to the Battery Street tunnel on the north and a new intersection on the south near Qwest and Safeco fields. Alaskan Way would be placed under the elevated structures. The cost estimate is $2.3 billion. When construction costs, traffic mitigation and related projects are added, the cost would be $3.5 billion.
The other option is a surface/transit scenario, which would create a pair of north and southbound streets along the waterfront. Alaskan Way would become a one-way southbound street with three lanes and a bike lane. Western Avenue would become a one-way northbound street with three lanes and a bike lane. The cost is estimated at $2.2 billion. With construction and traffic mitigation and related projects, the cost would be $3.3 billion.
An “elevated-bypass hybrid,” huh. Back in the 1950’s, I think they called that a “viaduct.”
If I were a betting man, I’d bet on the surface/transit option.