It’s not time to hit the panic button yet, but this is certainly a really bad sign.
PubliCola has learned that the Washington State Department of Transportation, which initially predicted it would be able to raise $400 million in toll revenues to pay to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel, now believes tolls will raise only $200 million, half the original projection.
The $200 million figure comes from WSDOT’s proposed tunnel budget (see page 9), which is currently being reviewed by the state legislature. The revised budget now assumes $702 million in funding from the federal government—$219 million more than the original assumption of $483 million.
As Erica C. Barnett says, so far federal money will pay for this. And if the economy picks up, some of the toll money is likely to recover. So it’s not a showdown between the city and state at this point. But it brings us closer to that point.