On the same day Washington was ranked amongst the top three most effective state governments, Gov. Christine Gregoire helped demonstrate how she made the grade by announcing revised plans that would replace the 520 floating bridge two years sooner and at as much as $700 million below previous estimates. Much of the savings come simply from accelerating construction, thus avoiding anticipated inflation of concrete and other materials.
The accelerated schedule is achieved through a number of means, including expediting the environmental permitting process and beginning construction on the rest of the 520 corridor sooner than originally planned, but much of it is due to advancing pontoon construction at two facilities simultaneously. Construction on smaller pontoons will now begin in 2009 at an existing facility in Tacoma, while construction on a new facility at Grays Harbor will begin in 2010, with production coming online the following year. Pontoons from both facilities will be floated through the locks, and into Lake Washington, where they will be assembled on site. This accelerated construction plan also has the ancillary benefit of creating hundreds of new local jobs at a time the national economy is headed into recession.
The proposal calls for a six-lane bridge — two general purpose lanes and an HOV lane in each direction — and will avoid the need for a draw span by raising the clearance on the Eastside approach. The bridge is designed to be expandable, with the ability to add new lanes or rail capacity by attaching a new row of pontoons to one side, and is now scheduled to be completed by the Fall of 2014, with full 520 corridor improvements to be finished by 2016. The total project will be financed by $1.7 billion in state and federal money, and as much as $2 billion in tolls.
In a letter to legislative leaders, Gov. Gregoire explained that the revised plan came in response to a request she made to WSDOT in January to explore all options for accelerating construction. Credit surely goes to WSDOT for rethinking the construction plan and finding the savings in both time and money, but credit also goes to Gov. Gregoire for pushing this process along.
I hope this is for real! How does she deal with the access issues on the two ends?
What is this 1950? Do we have black and white TV’s? Do we use prop driven passenger planes?
Then why is anybody in favor of replacing one bridge built to handle 1950’s traffic with another bridge built to handle 1950’s traffic?
Show some leadership Governor, build a 10 lane bridge. 3 general purpose on each side, one bus only, one HOV.
On the other hand, I could really give a crap. The eastside is a cultural dead zone, except for possibly the…..oh…help me out here. Is there anything worth going to the eastside for?
Dude, I hope you’re joking.
The Blatantly Obvious spews:
My favorite plan was to just drain Lake Washington, pave it in concrete and create the worlds largest skate park.
But I am a visionary.
I will miss the idea of having an underwater tunnel. That would have rocked!
But this is good. And sorely needed.
@ 2, I am not sure what great culturally significance exists anymore in the Eastside, but there seems to be a lot of jobs. And thus the tremendous, unending traffic jams.
Oh, and Snoqualmie falls. And Mt. Si.. and various other creations of natural beauty.
The Blatantly Obvious, blatantly obviously lives on the Eastside. The far Eastside.
The Blatantly Obvious spews:
How far Eastside you ask?
My neighbors have “Vote For Reichert” bumper stickers that are freshly scrapped off their pickups.
The Blatantly Obvious spews:
I am so Eastside, that you can still find an occasional “Bush/Cheney 04” bumper sticker on a truck that hasn’t been pelted with garbage and dust graffitied with “Bush Sucks”.
Underpromised initially and now the “good news” comes in.
The Democrats and WSDOT have learned from Sound Transit’s early mistakes how to play the PR game. You sock puppets are buying it hook line and sinker.
The Blatantly Obvious spews:
zip, are you gonna trade mark the “sock puppet” routine?
C’mon man! You can troll better than that!
The Blatantly Obvious spews:
Unless you can come up with a new catch phrase, you will not receive anymore WSRP funds.
You will be cut off man!
Just ask Mr. Cynical. “Lenin’s Useful Idiots” had a five second shelf life.
You can do better! Dig deep! Find your inner troll!
“Show some leadership Governor, build a 10 lane bridge. 3 general purpose on each side, one bus only, one HOV.”
We can always count on Busdrivermike to say the stupidest fricking things.
Where will the buses and cars go when they leave Mike’s mega-bridge? That’s somebody else’s problem, right? In fact, the main reason the state DOT abandoned an 8 lane configuration – the models showedit backed up at 520 and 405 big time. And the 8 lane bridge degraded I-5’s already pathetic traffic flow. Details, details… BusdriverLunk wants his pavement, goddamnit!
Watch for busdrivermike hero Dino Rossi to beat the dead mega-bridge horse in the next couple days. Funny how the Republicans always demand more, and insist on paying less. The epitome of pointlessness.
It doesn’t matter what the Governor proposes. The righties will work as hard as they can to defeat it – even if they agree with it. Republicans make EVERY decision based on politics – they don’t care about the people of Washington one bit. They care about winning and consequently are even willing to vote against their own interest.
This is why the Governor should just move forward. Fuck the republicans. They have no control in the state government – let them flap around and make noise. We’re in the majority – we TELL them what’s going to happen – they GET to sit there, listen and shut the fuck up.
What’s the difference between our Governor and Alaska’s EX-Gov?
He’s a crook – she’s a savior.
Richard Pope spews:
Okay, but what is the plan for the Alaskan Way Viaduct? Back in early January, Governor Gregoire announced that the viaduct was coming down in 2012, regardless of whether or not a plan had been developed for replacing the viaduct:
Build a 10 lane bridge. 5 general purpose on each side. Use the old bridge for one bus only, one HOV each way.
Politically Incorrect spews:
On the other hand, I could really give a crap. The eastside is a cultural dead zone, except for possibly the…..oh…help me out here. Is there anything worth going to the eastside for?”
Well, that’s a classic example of why the rest of us in Washington hate Seattle and its people. Those Seattle cocksuckers think the fucking world revolves around them and the rest of the state doesn’t matter.
Now do you fucking morons understand why we hate you so much?
@15 Politically Incorrect
All else aside …
I am having trouble with the image of a fucking world. OF COURSE the world fucks .. where did you think people came from?
Who pays for the NEXT 520?
If we olearned out lesson, the new 520 plan would include an intent to save money for the day when it needs to go.
Watch the righties’ heads explode, like that putz @ 15, as the Governor outsmarts them again.
Meanwhile, their candidate is a real-estate shyster whose “brain trust” includes Lou Guzzo, Mark Gardner, Tim Eyman, and the Evergreen Fuckup foundation, and all their policy is “cut taxes for the rich.”
“The bridge is designed to be expandable, with the ability to add new lanes or rail capacity by attaching a new row of pontoons to one side…”
Finally! A proposal that makes sense!
I’ve always marveled (in a bad way) how this state tries to cut construction costs, this year, by building bridges and overpasses without taking into account the inevitable need to expand in the future – thereby increasing future consruction costs by several orders of magnitude. I’m glad to see that they are thinking about it this time, as it will probably be another half-century before they have a chance to do it again.
But even if they don’t add more lanes than the three each way under this proposal, I hope that they are adding shoulders so that a disabled car can move off to the side, instead of blocking traffic for a half-hour until the tow truck can work it’s way to it.
And I also seriously hope that they will do something about the access to the HOV lanes between I-405 and the bridge, so that the HOV lane can be moved to the left-hand side. The current arrangement (right-side HOV lanes) is really, really, dangerous.
Okay, I couldn’t resist, today’s Non-Sequitur cartoon, which is actually on-topic for today:
(by tommorrow, the link will probably not work right).
11 – you are so right in your post…no matter WHO creates an idea or solution the OTHER side will fight tooth and nail against it because it wasn’t THEIR idea. Unfortunately this works both ways and that is why this country is in such shambles, no one wants to work together towards the same ideas and goals.
By the way, why do we get so many posts here which assume that people are living on the Eastside and working in Seattle? In the 1970’s and ’80’s, that was the traffic flow, as Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond were “bedroom suburbs” of Seattle. If you went “against the commute” in the morning or evening, you had no trouble going across a bridge.
But that hasn’t been true for quite some time. The commute is pretty equal both ways, as quite a few high-techies now live in Seattle and commute to the Eastside daily.
Those who complain that they should just get jobs closer to work ignore the basic delimma that if you are married, you might be commuting in different directions. I live in Everett, my wife works in Edmonds, and I work in Bellevue. The only way to shorten our commute is to move to Lynnwood, which wouldn’t help that much. Similarly, lot’s of Microsoft engineers have spouses who work in downtown Seattle, or other Seattle locations. Somebody has to commute somewhere! Besides, some people actually prefer to live in Seattle, rather on the Eastside, for a variety of reasons.
20-RHP…HILARIOUS!!!! Thanks for the link! :)
Okay, class, in summary of today’s Wingnut 201 classroom lecture, remember the following lessons before responding to this topic:
1. If transportation in Washington State is terrible, blame Gregoire.
2. If Gregoire proposes a solution to the transportation problems, criticize it as too expensive and ineffective. It doesn’t matter what the proposal is or how much it would cost, just do it. It should be a knee-jerk reaction for you, so practice it!
3. If Gregoire’s transportation proposal is too general, criticise it as being “too much” and “too specific”, and not focusing on any one thing you select that she should make her priorty (more freeway lanes, toll roads, buses, light rail, whatever – take your pick).
4. If Gregoire’s proposal is specific, complain that it isn’t comprehensive, so it won’t cover any one specific problem you care to select.
5. If Gregoire’s proposal covers a transportation problem in Western Washington, complain that it isn’t doing anything for the good Republican folks in Eastern Washington. Complain that money from hard-working Eastern Washington farmers is going to pay for roads only used by latte-drinking rich Seattle Democrates. Don’t let actual facts to the contrary get in your way of making this argument.
6. If Gregoire’s proposal costs only $10.00 over twenty years, complain that it is too expensive, that the project could be done for half that amount if not for bloated government beaurocracy & lazy union workers, etc.
7. Whatever you do, criticize, organize, misinform, obstruct, and spend every effort to defeat any proposal by Gregoire to solve the transportation problems.
8. After doing all this, complain that Gregoire isn’t doing anything about the transportation problems.
9. Repeat again, as needed.
10. Don’t forget to give weekly progress reports to your instructor by e-mail at Beelzebub@hotmail.com
For your convenience, wingnuts can just refer to the above post and give the item number. No need for all that troublesome typing.
@21: bipartisanship is not always the best answer.
when bush decides to use torture – being bipartisan and agreeing with him is not in the best interets of our country or our soldiers.
when bush decides to suspend our basic rights such as Habeus corpus – agreeing to this is not good for america.
when bush decides to illegally spy on americans and wants amnesty for telecoms who did spied illegally – that is not best for america.
On some things – it is useful to be bipartisan. On others – it is caving in and giving up our basic rights and betraying our constitution.
This is good. Im going to frame this one and hang
it on the wall. Gregoire is so marvelous and progressive
thinking I think I just peed myself a little.
26: Good points. In this respect, I’m actually becoming an admirer of the famous quote by Barry Goldwater:
“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Obviously, today’s Republicans don’t seem to be able to apply those principles with respect to liberty and justice for U.S. citizens. It’s a shame.
Nothing new there. You pee yourself a lot. You’re just the only one who doesn’t notice.
Another quote by Goldwater, applicable to today’s Republican Party:
“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.”
Remember this when the Bush administration says it needs more power to spy on you, and to trust them that they will not use it unless they think you are a terrorist, or someone who is talking to terrorists, or someone who might know someone who might be thinking about talking to someone who might be thinking about being a terrorist. (Oh, by the way, the Bush Administration’s definition of a terrorist sympathiser is “anybody who hasn’t drank the Bush&Co. cool-aid yet”).
By the way, do you know that now you, as an American citizen, can upon your return from travel overseas be detained in a small windowless room and questioned about your religion, philosophies, acquantences, family members, political affiliations, and required to give a detailed account of your travels abroad (where you stayed, where you went, who you met, who you talked to, etc.)? All the while, the Homeland Security agents have seized your laptop and your mobile phone, and promise that they might return it to you, after they have downloaded the entire hard disk for further review at their leisure, along with your cell phone records of all calls made and received. If you love freedom and liberty, your response to all such questions should be: “None of your damn business”, and “Charge me, or let me go RIGHT NOW”.
I didn’t agree with Goldwater on a lot of things, but I would give him credit for speaking his mind and being consistent, and not suffering fools gladly. He gave the Democrats lots of lumps, some deserved, some not. But he also raised hell with his own party, especially criticizing it being hijacked by the religious right:
“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
“…I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”
Speech in the US Senate (16 September 1981)
Oops, sorry for getting off-topic. Back to the transportation thing again, if you please….
Piper Scott spews:
Transportation in Washington is terrible because the leadership on transportation has been terrible.
Seven-years since the Nisqually Quake made the Viaduct no longer viable, yet zip progress! How long has it been since we’ve known of issues with 520, yet only now is there a “new plan?” And what will it take to leverage the Montlake and Laurelhurst neighborhoods to take it? There are a lot of rich Democrats in those million dollar homes who won’t like it that increased traffic from both cars and transit will flow into several different destinations around Husky Stadium, along Pacific, and other places.
Still…a plan is better than no plan even if it doesn’t have enough general purpose transporation lanes; people drive cars, and transportation planners need to at least recognize the democracy of the marketplace and respect that by planning accordingly.
Interesting that a geographic divide on this thread reveals perhaps for the first time that a lot of the HA Happy Hooligans aren’t Seattle-centric, and that those on the Eastside aren’t thrilled with the chauvinism of those who are.
Goldy’s thread of a few days ago on the necessity of thinking less in terms of city limits and more in terms of region was good, albeit verbose (can’t let a good effort go unpunished!). Still, the schizophrenia of exactly how that’s to be done is open to serious question; regional in the PNW doesn’t mean turning it into an evergreen version of Bucks County, PA.
Just because there’s a plan on the table doesn’t mean any shovels full of dirt will be turned or the letting of contracts is in the offing. But it is progress, and for that everyone should be thankful. Still the question is begged: why does it always take so damned long around here to get anything done?
One reason is because “Seattle,” in its broadest sense is provincial, parochial, and absolutely puritanical when it comes to planning and process; can’t afford to offend anyone (save for conservatives and Christians – when it comes to them, it’s fair game), so everyone must be made happy. Totally bupkis!
The driving force behind everything is appease every interest, accede to every demand, knuckle under to every pressure group…Whether it’s in the schools (when enrollment is halved and you can’t close even one school without a near riot, someone is seriously lacking kahones) or transportation, nobody is willing to make hard and tough decisions, be held accountable, and stand up and take heat.
Know what happens when you have spineless politicians like that? Tim Eyman.
When there’s a vacuum in elected “leadership,” and there surely is, then someone will always step forward to stand in the gap.
To anyone who thinks this past legislative session was a success, think again. The never-ending Christmas list may seem like a success to the kid who wrote it, but to mom and dad who have to pay for it, it’s both boring and irritating; nobody has that kind of money.
What’s the projected shortfall today? @2.4 billion? And rising? Who the Hell is going to pay for all the nonsense that Oly promises? All that and tolls too?
We’ll all pick through the latest 520 proposal to see what we like and what we don’t. My guess is that it ain’t all that negotiable; now’s not the time to dicker, now’s the time to knock Westside heads together and tell them to grow up, own up to their responsibilities, and quite thinking that theirs don’t stink. On that score, the divide isn’t left/right, conservative/liberal, Democrat/Republican, but Eastside of the lake versus Westside of the lake.
In the meantime, we still need to look seriously at transportation governance reform, an issue being pursued in Oly by many DEMOCRATS! I’m not thrilled with the idea of morphing the Puget Sound Regional Council into a collective transportation Czar (they can’t get their own stuff done on time and per statutory requirements), but at least that’s a starting point for discussion.
We need to remember that transportation planning and policy should focus on that: transportation. It must not wander off into distractions that come off other agendas. Moving people and goods effeciently and in a cost-effective manner is the number one and number only priority. And the people ought to be the ultimate arbiters of what’s good policy and what’s not.
So, while it’s good that a plan is out there, it’s still fair to ask where the Hell has the thing been for all these years? Ain’t like this is a new issue or anything. The lateness of the thing isn’t leadership, it’s evidence of some dithering along the way, which isn’t good politically for the Gov. Call it a variation on the law of unintended consequences.
Still…can we please proceed to the next step? Without bitching about the usual crap? Or is that asking too much?
So Piper, when the latest design details are sitting in front of us, even if there are some parts of it you don’t like, are you going to say “OK, let’s go for it”? I expect a lot of your Republican pals are going to raise all holy hell about the number of lanes, the approach ramps, the color of the concrete and every other detail.
Piper Scott spews:
Politics is the art of compromise…
There’s a need for a bridge that we can both all agree upon and all travel upon. If I’m willing to toss a few chips on the table, are you? Are any of the HA Happy Hooligans? Or will this be another total and expletive laden, “My way or the highway (no pun intended)?”
As the Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want.”
Hey if this happens with the budget figures cited above kudos to Fraudoire. All I care about is functioning infrastructure, not whether a (D) or an (R) is in Olympia.
Talk about strawmans galores! You do realize that the world does not revolve around wingnuts of any stripe?
Daddy Love spews:
To Piper, ‘ “Seattle,” in its broadest sense ‘ is Washington state, apparently.
Daddy Love spews:
Politics is only “the art of compromise” to a Republican when they’re in the minority. Pull on your big boy panties and hang on while we build the replacement.
Daddy Love spews:
The current viaduct will be removed in 2012. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projec.....hedule.htm
So to say “Seven-years since the Nisqually Quake made the Viaduct no longer viable, yet zip progress!” is either ignorant or disingenuous in the extreme (depending on whether or not you just don’t know shit about what’s been happening or do know and are lying about it).
The Program History has a lot more detail about the many things that have been done since the Nisqually Earthquake.
Daddy Love spews:
There is no $2.4 billion budget shortfall. It is a projection over the next five years; a projection which, I hasten to add, is less than half of the “projected budget shortfall” over five years stemming from Mr. Magic Budget Rossi’s swan song. And which does not include the softening impact of the so-called Rainy Day Fund the Governor Gregiore established.
The point really is that we don’t know what’s going to happen over five years. What we do know is that Washington state’s exports are extremely strong, Micosoft and Boeing are propering, and the state will have a budget surplus next year.
Daddy Love spews:
It seems to me that completing the planned work on 520 two years early and much more cheaply is kind of a good thing. Crazy, goofy me.
Ed Weston spews:
I’ve always thought we should give zeppelins a try. What with Boeing not, so far, getting the tanker job. Could be something different for them to try.
Piper Scott spews:
In just a matter of months after its collapse, the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi in St. Paul is well under way to being rebuilt. Why couldn’t this pace have happened with the Viaduct?
Had there been the leadership and political will, that thing could have been down and new construction under way in less than a year, two at the outside.
The $2.40 billion number is one generated out of Oly, not out of me. You can’t spend like drunken sailors in favor of every special interest in town (SEIU, for example) and not expect to wake up some morning with a fiscal hangover.
Your infighting and nasty accusations are exactly the “My way or the highway” crap I mentioned before; it’s de rigueur among the HA Happy Hooligans to slam any POV outside of their own narrow one.
And “you” won’t build anything unless, that is, you and your pals want to pay for it yourselves. It’s a “we,” which means all citizens of the state of Washington, Dems and Reps alike.
You might try taking the forest sized chip off your shoulder and come to the center where the compromises must be made. Frankly, yours, or one like it, is the snarky attitude that has delayed construction, and this comment from my DEMOCRATIC legislators who told me at a legislative town hall that Eastside legislators have been ready to go for just about forever, but it’s the Seattle types, especially those around Montlake and Laurelhurst, who’ve been the fly in the ointment.
What I’m saying is that I’m willing to look at what’s on the table with an eye toward working cooperatively to replace the bridge. What do you want to do? Pick fights for the sake of picking fights? What you’ll get with that attitude is marginalization…and no seat at the table.
Where there is a common need and goal, ideological differences on other issues needn’t serve to divide. If you can’t set them aside in favor of a larger common interest then your ideology limits and imprisons you, it does not empower you.
Think on it.
What bullshit. Your idea of compromise is to get 99.5% YOUR way. That’s the end of it.
PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:
SeattleJew says: I am having trouble with the image of a fucking world. OF COURSE the world fucks .. where did you think people came from?
SJ: That only works if it’s male fucking female. We on the right supports that.
PuddyPrick, The Fact Finding Prognosticator... spews:
So lefties: Did Lockem Sockem first send a budget to Rossi or did Rossi create the budget first?
Right Stuff spews:
HHmmm let’s see
Old bridge 4 lane bridge, 4 gp lanes.
New Bridge 6 lane bridge, 4 gp lanes 2 HOV……
Now tell me which philosophy this disaster of an idea came from.
1. The philosophy of getting people out of their SOV, which has shaped every transportation decision for decades, and lead to massive congestion and terrible commute times all the while ignoring the FACT that people want their cars.
2. The philosophy of “how do we move as many SOV as possible to cut congestion and ease commute times”
I can’t wait for the decorative concrete pictorals that will undoubtably line the approaches to the bridge. Maybe they’ll put some of Her Governess’s likeness as a tribute. Put there in full knowledge that they’ll get plenty of “lookin” since no traffic will be moving on our $$Billion dollar HOV upgrade…..
What a joke.
As someone keeps sayin out there… “It’s time for a change, we can do better”