digging to china

(excuse me while i pull out my large soapbox here).  so the stranger, which i love dearly but readily admit is so far left leaning it’s probably fallen over, has published an in-depth article on what could (or will) go wrong with this deep-bore tunnel plan to replace the alaskan way viaduct.  this is a sore subject amongst seattlites, and probably the entire puget sound region, that has been debated in the media and the neighborhoods for years.  there’s been NO debate between the mayor’s office and the city council (because the city council refused.  cowards.)  the big sticking point is that the legislature passed a law stating that seattle is responsible for any project cost overruns.  the actual legal terminology makes it sound like it would be individual businesses or residences that would have to pay, but broadly it’s put seattle on the hook.  there are those in olympia that, since they don’t live in the city or have to pass through it on a regular basis, WANT the city to pay.  there are others that say that since it’s technically a state highway, seattle taxpayers SHOULDN’T have to pay.

so despite the fact that seattle voters said no to a tunnel (twice, i believe) the governor and former king county executive and former seattle mayor (who i think were both on their way out at the time) agreed to a project that wasn’t approved by voters and may not even be feasible.  that’s right, the environmental impact analysis hasn’t even been completed.  it’s not due until this fall.

there was an episode of crossing jordan where jordan and bug get stuck in the big dig tunnel when an accident snarls traffic.  i just have this vision of an accident happening in our own tunnel, and then an earthquake strikes and everyone in it is flattened.  obviously worst case scenario, but still entirely probable.

personally, i think the rest of the legislature wants to go forward with this project because they’re tired of us liberal commies in seattle getting all the dough and attention.  so they want to wish bad things upon us simply because we’re not bible-thumping right wing extremists.  at this point, i’m pretty much hoping that by the time this rolls around i’ll have moved to either a) white center (which is technically unincorporated king county and i hope they stay that way) or b) the project is aborted entirely and they just opt to tear down the viaduct and say screw replacing it and widen alaskan way.

you can read the stranger’s article here.

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