A final decision due this week on replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been postponed, so that transportation officials can reconsider the option of a deep-bore tunnel.
“I think the governor would say that if we could make the numbers work, that is probably the most viable option,” Judd said. “But that option is going to mean that there has to be a real meaningful partnership with the city and county and Port [of Seattle] to make it happen.”
Meaningful partnership? In other words, Seattle taxpayers are going to be asked to pony up the extra bucks needed to pay the extra cost of a tunnel over the less expensive surface/transit option… which I suppose would be fair, if Seattle taxpayers actually preferred the tunnel… which they don’t. Whether the money comes from the county, the city or the port, it still comes from us taxpayers, and I betcha if you put the two options on the ballot with the cost to local taxpayers clearly stated, the pricier tunnel option gets buried in a landslide. That’s why, if chosen, you won’t see this on a ballot.
“We’ve always felt that, given the advances in deep-bore tunnels and the ability to build a deep-bore tunnel without interfering with the economy downtown and, given the experience we have in the region with deep-bore tunnel, specifically Beacon Hill, it would be a real tragedy to take it prematurely out of the running.”
Yeah, but then again, these are folks who don’t believe in evolution, so forgive me for taking their claimed scientific and technical expertise with a grain of salt. As I wrote on this subject over a year ago:
In a city where completion of a 1.3 mile vanity trolley line is feted like some transportation miracle, the very notion that local voters might commit more than a half billion dollars a mile to an untested technology is a dramatic tribute to Discovery’s primary mission of promoting the exercise of faith over reason.
Of course, what Discovery really has faith in is the invisible hand of God—ie, the divine power of the free market to make gobs of money for themselves and their well-heeled friends—and buried along with their tunnel proposal is the notion that the extra cost will be paid for via some sort of “public-private” partnership… you know, taxpayer money heavily subsidizing a for-profit venture. So now that we’re seriously talking about a deep-bore tunnel, get ready for the talk about privatizing it.