When I wrote this morning about a House amendment that sticks Seattle taxpayers with potential cost overruns from the risky Big Bore tunnel, I suggested that “now is the time for Mayor Nickels and other local political leaders to send a clear message to Olympia” that if they change the deal, the deal is off.
Well, I didn’t hear what I wanted from Mayor Nickels, but we did get a quick response from challenger Mike McGinn, who in a press release today promised exactly that:
Michael McGinn today announced his opposition to the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement plan emerging in the Legislature.
“This deal keeps getting worse”, said McGinn. “As Mayor, I will not authorize the use of city tax dollars for the tunnel or associated cost overruns.”
In highlighting the riskiness of this project, McGinn points out that a bored tunnel of this size, 54 feet in diameter, has never been built anywhere in the world. And that’s a financial risk that Seattle’s taxpayers, who voted overwhelmingly against a tunnel, should not be expected to bear on their own.