New Alaska Way Viaduct at Washington St. (Existing structure superimposed in red.)
I appreciate the value of the Seattle waterfront and recognize that the project design must be mindful of the principles of the community.
— Gov. Chris Gregoire, 2/13/07
Governor Chris Gregoire and several key legislators announced today that the state intends to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct with a new, bigger elevated structure, regardless of the outcome of Seattle’s March 13 advisory vote. Councilman Nick Licata wants to scrap the vote, calling it “pointless,” but to do so at this time under these circumstances would be insulting and defeatist. Instead, I think we should revise the ballot to remove the tunnel alternative, and make this a straight up or down vote on a massive elevated freeway. My sense is that under these circumstances a rebuild would be overwhelmingly rejected by Seattle voters.
Perhaps the state might still have the legal authority to shove this down our throats anyway, but at least they would be fully aware of the political consequences should they try.