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Unanimous approval for $927 million tunnel

By Heidi · October 19th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Today, the Seattle City Council unanimously agreed to move forward with the Alaskan Way Viaduct deep bored tunnel and Seawall Replacement.  According to the City press release, “The agreement authorized today outlines the city and state’s funding and construction responsibilities and outlines Seattle’s $927 million obligation to the project set for completion in 2018.”  The Council has been discussing possible funding sources for the project, which include a possible increase in the Commercial Parking tax and a new Transportation Benefit District to collect vehicle fees.  The Council is expected to act on proposed funding options next year.

  • holz

    it's not even close to a $927 million dollar tunnel.

  • Abdul Alhazred

    I was considering gathering signatures for and organizing a referendum putting the ordinance to a public vote; however, that 22,000 signature hurdle appears too high to cross before the Thanksgiving deadline.

    I now understand why Council hurried the legislation through – they detailed costs on a Friday and unanimously passed Ordinance Number 123133 the following Tuesday. It galls me that when I called and emailed council to delay the vote to allow for public participation and comment, not one council member bothered to reply, not even Nick Licata who had said that Friday, “What's the hurry?”

    I agree with holz – partitioning cost into different jurisdictions blurs the fact it is the most expensive option, and the biggest tax increase without a public vote. State pays $2.8B; King Co kicks in money (if approved, from motor vehicle excise tax); Seattle pays $930M; Port of Seattle kicks in $300M (a pass-through property tax increase). Including financing, WSDOT estimated the bypass deep-bore tunnel at $6.14 billion (and increasing). Only $2.4 billion in funding has been identified. Plus tolls, say $100M.

    The proposed Memorandum of Agreement does not reject that Seattle is still on the hook for 100% of the cost overruns. Thanks, Council! Remember that if the tunnel gets to Spring Street, and encounters the namesake underground springs, causing unforeseen schedule and design delays.




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