Close The Schools, Dig The Tunnel!

Get ready for the next chapter in the viaduct debate: City of Seattle, King County, and WA State officials will announce tomorrow that they support a deep bore tunnel.

It’s magic! We can now afford a tunnel!

19 Responses to “Close The Schools, Dig The Tunnel!”

  1. Joshua

    Well, so much for the Stakeholder’s Committee. Thanks for all your hard work, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

  2. Spencer

    Barf, Can’t wait for the next Mayoral election.

  3. Josh Mahar

    And we call ourselves a progressive, green city….

  4. Tony

    I agree this is somewhat frustrating, but at the end of the day, a tunnel does beat a new elevated structure. A new viaduct would have been a much bigger embarrassment.

  5. joshuadf

    OMG. I’m guessing this is a lame attempt to suck up as much stimulus money as possible for WA state.

  6. Tony

    Better to have that stimulus money come to Seattle, create jobs in Seattle, and build a project that will enhance the pedestrian environment of our city than to have it go to Pheonix to build more highways and more sprawl. We’re paying for it anyway, might as well get some of it.

  7. Knox

    You’re conflating two different issues in your title. Many of the schools do not have enough students and we need more schools in the north part of the city and less in the south. Relating the school issues to the freeway building spree isn’t quite right.

    What I’d like to say for every gax tax buck we raise in Seattle, we send it something like 60% off to Eastern Washington to build and repair their roads and pave new places for strip malls for them. I am totally fine to get some of that money back! I don’t know how the heck a giant tunnel will be safer in the big earthquake on all that landfill down on the bay…but I’d certainly like a giant park down on the waterfront instead of a freeway.

    Stupid freeways.

  8. keith

    Wow, I’m really ashamed of where I live.

  9. Josh Mahar

    Since the state is obviously trying to get stimulus money, fairly enough, why don’t we ask for a deep bore tunnel for TRANSIT instead?

    I mean, with say, $3 billion we could at least get from West Seattle, through a tunnel downtown. Then we just run a line up Aurora, which, according to Peter Newman is only $30 mill per km, or $48 mill per mile. Thus, we could probably get at least to Greenlake for like 1 billion more. I mean, this isn’t quite to Ballard but ST3 could finish that part up and it would be much cheaper.

  10. keith

    I’d second that proposal, Josh.

    I’m not up to speed on many of the transportation issues but Aurora seems like a prime corridor for rail transit/transit oriented development/etc. Has this ever been officially — cover your ears! — studied?

  11. Cook

    If they’re trying to get stimulus money, I think they are much too late, since the money is supposed to go to projects that are shovel ready in the next two years. They haven’t even completed an EIS (or similar report) from my understanding, and it seems like this will not be the last we’ll hear about the viaduct legally (or fiscally, for that matter).

    I also agree with Josh. At least incorporate a transit aspect into the tunnel! What about a three lane highway in the middle of the bored tunnel (since the complaints about getting rid of the viaduct that trucks heading north from the piers will have no way to get there, have two north lanes) sandwiched by two light rail trains? I’m no engineer but from that sketch it looked like there would be room.

  12. joshuadf

    Hmm. Just north of the where the tunnel comes out at Aurora and Thomas is the Gates Foundation headquarters. Just east is Vulcan’s South Lake Union. There may be another angle on funding that’s not in the press release: a private Gates/Allen bypass tunnel.

  13. GW

    An obvious attempt to get money from any Obama infrastructure featherbedding.

  14. Sivalinga

    Why a duck?

  15. Ben Schiendelman

    keith: Transit up 99 doesn’t compare favorably with transit through Belltown and Lower Queen Anne to Ballard. Tunneling rail from West Seattle to Ballard under 1st or 2nd Avenue would be far more cost effective – more total dollars, fewer dollars per passenger.

  16. dawn mason

    Not only is a tunnel being built, while schools are being closed, Mr. Mayor of Seattle thinks a better use of tax payer money is to build a jail hotel (will rent out cells to other cities. )Where people go when they get released? Not far.

    We know when a person is undereducated they are more likely than those who are to end up in penal system. So, if this is Mr.Mayor’s vision support school closures and prepare for the fall out by building a jail. Who is running against this vision?

  17. Matt the Engineer

    Sightline just published a piece on this, with a nice graph.

  18. spencer


    are you in love with graphs?

  19. Matt the Engineer

    I do appreciate a good graph – something more useful than words to bring a concept across. This graph is very simple, but shows how strange it is that we’re worrying about a few million dollars for schools while throwing billions as a project that may serve to be almost useless.

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