Viaduct tape

Head on over to to watch their new No on I-912 video… great concept, great script, great production values… great video. Really.
Viaduct tape video
Just make sure to buy your viaduct tape at a true blue retailer like Costco.


  1. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey Mark LeRedneck, do humanity a favor and drive your SUV on AWV today (and every day)! That sucker is GOING DOWN and the world will be a better place if you’re on it, when it does.

  2. 5

    My 2 cents spews:

    Clever concept. I’m sure 912 will be soundly defeated as a result so no real need for you to talk about it anymore.

    Did you get the talking points memo from Paul Berendt yet?

    If you didn’t you’re supposed support his position and refer to the Minute Men up in Blaine/Sumas as “Racist Vigilantes” despite any supporting evidence.

  3. 7

    dj spews:

    Hey, I was thinking the Wingnuts can form a prayer group that can be used to fortify the viaduct tape.

    I mean, you guys still believe in faith-based engineering, dontcha?

  4. 8

    dj spews:

    Josef @ 6

    Huh? Support a candidate from the party that launched a sham lawsuit against the Washington state electorate?

    Bwwwwwaaaaahhhhh Haaaaa Haaaaaaa! That’s a good one!

  5. 9

    Food for Thought spews:

    As a manufacturer of Hillbilly Armor™, I’ll be happy to donate a set to the poor gentleman with the concerns in the video.

    Tinfoil hats are 50% off today only!

  6. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    Hey Danno, do humanity a favor and drive on AWV as often as possible to increase the odds of your being on it when it collapses.

  7. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    The Associated Press reports today that September inflation was the highest in 25 years — 1.2% or an annualized rate of 14.4%. We haven’t seen inflation like this since the economic mess Carter inherited from Nixon, who like Dubya, paid for an unpopular war by putting it on a credit card.

    George W. Bush doesn’t believe in asking for sacrifices from rich taxpayers — only from the poor soldiers who are dying for him — he wants them to sacrifice not only their lives and limbs but also their combat pay, medical care, and veterans benefits.

  8. 12

    GBS spews:

    Danno @ 4

    Yeah, and Katrina isn’t going to do much damage to the Gulf Coast. No sense in cutting your vacation short or skipping cake with John McCain, Mr. Incompetent, um-ah, I mean, Mr. President.

    Yeahhhhh, niiiiiiice.

  9. 14

    Mr. X spews:

    A fear campaign that overstates the risk to the Viaduct isn’t exactly gonna do much for progressive credibility (and the TV ad, which says 912 “cancels” the Viaduct and SR 520 projects is just about as disingenuous as it gets, given that the gas tax funds less than 1/2 of the preferred EIS alternative for the AWV, and an even smaller portion of SR 520, which is likely to cost as much if not more).

    BTW, voters rejected this very 5 cent increase not so long ago. Dems (and by that I mean the corporate ones who run the Washington State Party) do urban areas a real disservice when they roll over explicit public votes (whether for a stadium or a gas tax hike).

    Drove the AWV today, and it’s gonna be a real pain in the ass getting around this weekend while it’s closed…

  10. 16

    Mr. X spews:

    …and, since all of my progressive friends have jumped on the BS “The Viaduct WILL collapse” bandwagon, let me remind everyone of what WSDOT has said –

    There is a 1 in 20 chance of an earthquake in the next 10 years rendering the Viaduct unusable. Not a collapse, not a catastrophic failure, not falling over, not pancaking – unusable.

    And the engineer who proposes a much less expensive retrofitting has it exactly right when he says that only one of hundreds of separate sections of the structure was significantly damaged in the Nisqually Quake (ask WSDOT – they’ll confirm it) – it’s the one near the Washington Street/Yesler curve, and happens to also be in a location that experienced a serious fire decades ago when a tanker truck burned.

    The only vote we will ever get on whether the Viaduct is replaced with an elevated structure or a tunnel is I-912 (and this is probably your best opportunity to vote against reconfiguring Mercer and I-99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel, as well).

  11. 17

    righton spews:

    Duct tape for the Viaduct….

    You are confused, its Gold plate. I think you can find all their plans at

  12. 20

    righton spews:

    Mark1; Wearing a business suit looks unnatural to her.

    Speaking of which, are there any women amongst the posting populace?

  13. 21

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Mr. X and Danno: Well, I AM and engineer (PE License from the People’s Republic of Washington) and I’ve got a few things to say.

    1) 1 in 20, hmmm. That’s a 5% chance. Would you allow a new home you and your family are to live in to be built to those standards? That is an unacceptable safety standard for residential construction, and an even more unacceptable standard for public use.

    2) Refusal to invest in infrastructure to modern levels and using modern techniques is EXACTLY what caused the flooding in New Orleans. Construction cost isn’t the issue here, it’s what the cost of the loss would be that must be considered. Think of it as an insurance payment. Your house has less than a 5% chance of burning down this year, but you pay insurance and support having a fire dept right?

    3) I was driving the AWV daily during the late 80’s quake in SF, and reviewed how the freeway there collapsed in some detail. While it is admittedly a casual observation, the AWV seemed to me to have very similar structural connections. I was worried then, and am more worried now.

    4) I’d really like to read the report you mention. Can you give me a link?

  14. 22

    righton spews:

    Seattle times on monday (i think) mentioned 2 guys who have submitted a study, saying $200mm can fix the viaduct for another 30 yrs..

    sorry, i posted link earlier on other thread but am too lazy now to re-link

  15. 23

    Aaron spews:

    That wasn’t a “study”, it was a “report”.

    Two Cranks In Pt. Townsend

    Really, it’s a bad joke, that these two old farts in retirement-ville think they know how to do something cheap. You can say it can be done for $200 million, or $2 million, saying doesn’t make it so.

  16. 24

    Aaron spews:

    What’s really weird is that the Seattle Times chose to put this story on the front page Monday. Victor Gray has been trying to sell this idea for years, the price used to be $300 million, but I guess that wasn’t getting enough attention. None the less, we can also read at the same above link:
    “The city and state DOT, however, have eliminated the retrofit proposal, saying it’s been criticized by four different groups of engineers as either unsafe or about the same cost as the rebuild option.”

  17. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s a quote from the article that sums up WSDOT’s views on repair vs. replace:

    “In 1999, two years before the Nisqually earthquake, the state began a feasibility study about what to do with the viaduct and, at first, considered whether it could be stabilized and strengthened.

    “Ultimately, the state decided that repairing the viaduct would cost at least 80 percent of the rebuilding cost. And when finished, the structure would be so stiff with all the bracing that an earthquake could cause various sections to crash into each other.

    “‘A lot of people are drawn to the notion of a cheap fix,’ Dye said. ‘There is no cheap fix for the viaduct.'”

    It seems the state DID consider — and eliminate — the “cheap fix” option. So what are the I-912 opponents bitching about? Not enough process to suit them, after only 4 different engineeering and feasibility studies all concluded the AWV isn’t worth repairing and needs to be replaced?

  18. 26

    Baynative spews:

    My what a clever video. Since the entire initiative debate is being turned into whether or not the entire state should pay for a new tunnel to remodel the Seattle waterfront; why not just raise the king county sales tax to about 20 cents on the dollar?

    That way those of us who don’t care to participate can simply stay away.

  19. 27

    Mr. X spews:

    RE Larry #21

    1) We are not talking about a new project built to current code – we are talking about the level of risk of the Viaduct being rendered unusable – and I raised this point to illustrate the level of fearmongering people I would expect better from are indulging in (eg – the Viaduct WILL fall down in the next earthquake – which is not what WSDOT was saying until a campaign was imminent).

    Let’s take your analogy a step further – should we tear all of Pioneer Square down? The Aurora Bridge? The 16th Ave Bridge? Any house built over 50 years ago? If “the big one” (say a 7.2 or greater seismic event) really hits, a whole lot more than the Viaduct is coming down. A recently completed elevated freeway collapsed in the last big Kobe earthquake – so being built to current code is no guarantee of safety.

    The real question ought to be about acceptable levels of risk, and fiscally prudent investments to reasonably mitigate that risk. A $4.5 billion tunnel (and go to WSDOT’s site – it’s what they intend to do) is an absurdly expensive way to deal with less than 2 miles of road.

    2)Actually, the big problem in N.O was the failure to complete a retrofit of existing levees because Smirky and his gang defunded the program, not the failure to tear them all out and rebuild them to current standards.

    3)The AWV is substantially different than the Cypress Freeway in Oakland, as the UW/WSDOT study grudgingly acknowledges. As someone who was on the AWV leadership group explained it to me (they resigned when it became apparent that the whole thing was a sham to prop up the decision to replace the AWV with a tunnel), it is the result of a single concrete pour down the vertical length of the rebar columns, where Cypress was done in two pours. This makes the risk of pancaking far less likely.

    4) The main study often cited regarding the AWV’s seismic vulnerability was done in 1995, and can be found at;hl=en

    The interesting thing about this study, which seems pretty ominous, is that the level of the “design level” event they predicate their findings on is a much stronger earthquake than is likely – and many people said so at the time (and this is back in 1995, before the Viaduct survived the Nisqually Quake – a fairly typical and recurring NW event – and when WSDOT was already pushing to do a public/private partnership deal to replace the AWV with a toll tunnel. It was reported at the time – as I recall that the “design level event” in the UW/WSDOT study, was actually a 7.2- 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

    With regard to a formal study of a retrofit, there really hasn’t been one (in my view, largely because WSDOT has never had any interest in it. A cursory study to reinforce a decision already made doesn’t count. Note, however, how quickly they were able to bring their $11 billion quote for the tunnel project down to $4.5 billion in the face of political pressure).

    Helen Sommers, hardly a wingnut, and well versed in WSDOT and other Olympia minutiae, has called for serious study of a Viaduct retrofit, as well.

    A note on risk – an earthquake could well hit tomorrow and prove me wrong, but the AWV survived the Nisqually event in the face of all the same dire predictions we are now hearing in the I-912 campaign (and lots of the people sternly telling us we have to fix the Viaduct would just as soon see it torn down and not replaced in any event).

    Another note on risk, I drive the AWV each and every day, and will happily do so for as long as I am able, because the tangible and measurable benefit in time saved far outweighs a level of personal risk that is essentially miniscule.

  20. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The AWV was completed in 1954 and is now 51 years old. Are you still driving a 1954 car? One crucial fact the replacement opponents don’t comment on is that AWV sits on unstable soil and no amount of retrofitting can keep it from toppling if that soil gives way. For all the dissing on tunnels, a tunnel can’t fall down — and it’s quite possible the extra cost could be recouped by selling development rights in the ground and air space above to private developers. The bare land above the tunnel would become extremely valuable real estate.

  21. 29

    Mr. X spews:

    Check out the report – the piles go to bedrock (granted – not as deep into it as they should, though).

    WSDOT and the City have stated that there isn’t enough developable property to pay for the AWV tunnel, btw, and tolls won’t be sufficient either. That’s before cost overruns, too!

    (I hope you don’t mind my bickering with ya, bunny – I’m right there with you 95% of the time!)

    PS – as it happens, there are a pretty good number of 1954 cars still on the road (not that I can afford one, mind you), along with lots of old technology that was built to last and still works just fine provided the owner didn’t junk it and trade it in on the latest shiny new thing Madison Avenue (or the MSM, in the case of the AWV) was pitching…

  22. 30

    Mr. X spews:

    It can be done (While I’m not suggesting the AWV is an architectural marvel on the order of the Golden Gate, it serves a good portion of the City’s residents and provides a truly world class view for the common rabble like me)!

    From Civil Engineering magazine, 2000 (I’d be interested to see what the current actual figure is, I’ll keep looking)…

    “The total cost of the Golden Gate Bridge retrofit construction, including such associated services as construction management support, inspection, support from designers, and environmental monitoring, is estimated to be $300 million-a fraction of the full replacement cost of the bridge, which is put at $1.4 billion.”

    From Nancy Pelosi (go Nancy!) website-

    Pelosi, Woolsey Deliver $1.6 Million for Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit

    September 14, 2004

    San Francisco — House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey announced today the release of more than $1.6 million for the ongoing seismic retrofitting of the Golden Gate Bridge from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This is the last installment of the $4.5 million Pelosi and Woolsey secured in the fiscal year 2004 omnibus spending bill.

    Golden Gate Bridge – West View”The Golden Gate Bridge is a landmark of national significance and deserving of significant national funding,” Pelosi said. “These funds will help ensure that in case of an earthquake many lives will be saved, and this beloved national symbol will survive.”

    “We have much to do to improve transportation for Marin and Sonoma County, but if the Golden Gate Bridge is effected by an earthquake or terrorist attack, then traffic in the entire North Bay will be tied up,” Woolsey said. “The Golden Gate Bridge is a vital traffic artery for the North Bay and these funds will go towards the completion of the third and final phase of the seismic retrofit project.”

    Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit measures are designed to tune and strengthen the bridge to minimize damage caused by the ground motions of an earthquake. These funds will support the third and final phase of the Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project which will retrofit the suspension span, towers, south pier and fender, north pier, north anchorage, and north pylon. Phase III construction will take place over a four-year period beginning in January 2005 and is estimated to create 1,240 jobs in areas such as materials fabrication, shipping, and construction.

    The Golden Gate Bridge is a critical transportation link in the San Francisco Bay area that carries 42 million vehicles and is visited by more than 10 million people annually. However, it remains vulnerable to earthquakes and could fail during an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 or greater on the nearby San Andreas or Hayward faults. This construction project, which is well underway, will retrofit the Golden Gate Bridge to withstand earthquakes up to magnitude 8.3.

    Pelosi obtained an additional $70 million for the Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project as part of the $120 million she secured for San Francisco Bay Area transportation projects in the transportation bill that passed the House of Representatives in April and is currently in conference committee.”

    Where there is a will, and no ready pot of funding for the mother of all Seattle pork projects, there is a way

  23. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:


    “the piles go to bedrock”

    Bullshit. Seattle sits on a mile of glacial till. You have to go 5,000 feet down to hit bedrock.

  24. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “The main study often cited regarding the AWV’s seismic vulnerability was done in 1995″

    This region’s geologic makeup and seismic history were not well understood when AWV was built in the 1950s, and that’s a big part of the problem — it’s not designed to withstand ground movements that have occurred here in the past and almost certainly will occur again in the future. Although knowledge of seismic engineering had improved markedly by 1995 compared to 1955, relying on a 1995 study to make decisions about SR-99 for the next 30 to 50 years is like buying a 1995 computer running 1995 software to meet 2005 computing needs — the 1995 study is already obsolescent. LISTEN TO THE PROFESSIONALS. They, not we, know whether AWV can be retrofitted — and 4 separate engineering studies said replacement is the only viable option.

  25. 34

    Mr. X spews:


    FYI (and mine!)

    According to the Pacific Northwest Center for Geologic Mapping Studies “…The bedrock underlying the Seattle area was originally deposited during the Tertiary period and consists of interbedded sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Bedrock is exposed only sporadically in the south half of Seattle; elsewhere, it is overlain by hundreds to thousands of feet of unconsolidated Quaternary deposits.”

    Damn if I don’t learn something new every day on these blog thingies….

  26. 35

    headless lucy spews:

    If the state cannot fund a road maintainance and building program with a reasonable tax on gas, then it will be funded through taxing gambling that will be expanded statewide.

  27. 36

    righton spews:

    But why the ugly woman in the commercial? Couldn’t you guys get a model from Madison Park or Kirkland?

  28. 37

    Linda spews:

    WSDOT has completed several studies on the viaduct. Unfortunately, they are not currently on-line. However, if you watch this space, they will get posted in the next few days. It was the 2001 report by TY Lin co that came up with the 1 in 20 probability of failure. That report also noted that both soil and the structure itself are both bad.

    More to come.

  29. 38

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Tell all the fucking lies you want. Distort all you want. Put your heads in the sand and up your asses. Spend millions. Go ahead. None of it is going to matter.

    912 will pass by at least 15 points.

    Then we can have a serious discussion. And Christine Gregoire will spend the next 3 years as a lame duck.

  30. 39

    righton spews:

    Maybe we shoudl coopt them and propose that instead of a viaduct lets but a new I-205 through the regrade, up through Aurora… loops back to I-5 in Wallingord. Better to piss away the $2bb buying out the communists..

    Or say, “ok viaduct plus new freeway in sammamish”…ok we’ll do that…

    then the hippies will give up cuz they wont’ wanna face the hard choices of true traffic “reform”

  31. 40

    ArtFart spews:

    That was the lousiest excuse for a porno movie I ever….

    But seriously, folks (kabomp-CHING!) we have a conundrum here between the gold-plated aspirations of our civic “leaders” and the financial exhaustion of the taxpaying public–and the Eyman/Carlson anti-government spin machine is exploiting the situation for all it’s worth. There are several options for dealing with the Viaduct, and Greg Nickels (who should change his name to Greg Megabucks) keeps insisting on the most gold-plated option as if it’s the only way that can possibly work. Our local government is still working on a playbook based on projections from the dot-com baloon in the late 90’s. Look at the new City Hall. Granted, it was too far along to cancel when the sky fell in, but once it was built did they have to insist on filling it with Aeron chairs? Feh!

  32. 41

    byron ward spews:

    What about repairing the seawall? The tunnel option costs more but includes the seawall restoration. If we do nothing with the viaduct, we still must address the seawall, it would be nice if Seattle could get help from the state for the seawall, afterall we need to build the monorail and light rail.

    Today, October 15th, they are having a terror drill below the viaduct–maybe now Homeland Security can help pay too

  33. 42

    HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS spews:


    The Associated Press reports today that September inflation was the highest in 25 years – 1.2% or an annualized rate of 14.4%. We haven’t seen inflation like this since the economic mess Carter inherited from Nixon, who like Dubya, paid for an unpopular war by putting it on a credit card. -Comment by Roger Rabbit— 10/14/05 @ 12:57 pm

    Dear LIAR by omission – your forgot the salient point dumbbunny and that is that when you take KATRINA out of the equation, infaltion was nearly NIL.

    No wonder you call yourself a horses ass.

  34. 43

    dj spews:

    Byron Ward @ 41,

    As I understand it, the seawall is an Army Corps of Engineers responsibility. Therefore a separate source of funding will be forthcoming for the seawall expenses.

    At least that is what I heard on the news. YMMV

  35. 44

    righton spews:

    Dj, Windie, all the transpo $$ lovers

    Seattle Tiems today reports the tax increase is going towards Viaduct ($2bb), $500mm for right of way to help fund 520, then for other stuff.

    You guys keep claiming its general transportation…sure reads to me like a Seattle oriented, viaduct oriented tax burden on everyone.

    I think i used the viaduct in 1998.

  36. 45

    byron ward spews:

    For some reason the state thinks it is reasponsible for the seawall, check out: wsdot.wa/projects/viaduct

    In 2002, when it was reported that gribbles (small crustaceans) were nibblng away the seawall, Mayor Nichols proposed seawall replacement, by the city. So why does the state care? The viaduct is a state highway, to do a tunnel, you need to replace the seawall, hence a state interest

    Congressman McDermott, in July 2005, did obtain legislation that allows “significant federal funding” (his press release) to replace the seawall, so we can get in line with New Orleans.

    The federal funding is from the Army Corps’s budget, but to say it is the Corp’s “reasponsibilty” is wrong, but if we wait for the big earthquake, and lose the seawall and the viaduct, then maybe we would be eligible for low interest loans from FEMA. where is Brownie when we need him?

  37. 46

    byron ward spews:

    Roger Rabbit recalls that in 1999 the city of Seattle decided to replace the viaduct, well add these events: in 2002 Mayor Nichols revealed that gribbles, small crustaceans, were nibbling away at the seawall, that is made in large part with wood, but the Mayor refined the argument: the preferred viaduct replacement is a tunnel, but a tunnel includes a new seawall, and since the viaduct is a state highway, Olympia pays for both projects, clever huh?

    The state agreed. See: wsddot.wa/projects/viaduct

    In July 2005, Congressman McDermott announced he had put thru legislation that would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to enter the financing picture, McDermott says the Corp’s contribution would be “significant” but no amount of money is mentioned; thanx to McDermott the seawall now is one of the Corp’s many projects, yet after the recent hurricanes, I suspect the Corps’s money will be used to build really good dikes around New Orleans, so Halleburton can build high rise condos.

    When CR says the Corps is “responsible” for the seawall, he is wrong.

  38. 47


    Amazing how little airtime the best and least expensive option for the Viaduct gets: tear it down, reconnect the downtown street grid so that it functions properly, spend some of the savings on improved transit, and enjoy a waterfront that is rid of the blight of a massive concrete structure blocking the views.

    Voting yes on I-912 is the best chance we have for getting rid of the worst transportation mistake ever made in the city of Seattle.