Thanks to MJ for posting the link to that video in comments on our first report from today’s official announcement that a “deep-bored” tunnel will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s “mile in the middle” Central Waterfront section. We’ll be adding more video to this report but the clip doesn’t seem to have gotten much play yet, so we’re posting it here and will be adding to this as we go, including West Seattle reaction from the announcement event. ADDED 2 PM: Our clip of the governor’s opening remarks – including the first quip, which drew laughter:
ADDED 2:47 PM: Among the many people on hand for the announcement were West Seattle’s two Stakeholders Advisory Committee members, Pete Spalding – with whom we’ll be talking later – and Vlad Oustimovitch, who spoke with WSB afterward. We asked if, when the committee meetings began last year, he could have imagined it would turn out this way:
ADDED 3:02 PM: And one more clip (pardon the surrounding din, this was right after the briefing broke up and the room was jammed) – we asked County Council Chair Dow Constantine whether he thinks the state might find a way to keep the existing Viaduct open till the tunnel is done, even though the governor had said she wants the AWV down in 2012, and now the timeline for tunnel completion is 2015:
Here’s a few other notes: Many are discussing the logistics of how the tunnel will connect to the rest of Highway 99. Remember, there are other AWV projects already under way – including the utility-relocation project that started last fall, and the South End Replacement work that starts this year. That part of the project takes down 40 percent of the existing AWV and is to be done in two years; read all about it here. It includes the new on- and off-ramps “near South King Street” that were scheduled to become the new downtown-access points under most alternatives. Meant to complement that is the forthcoming widening of the Spokane Street Viaduct (the West Seattle Bridge stretch between 99 and I-5) that will include a new 4th Avenue offramp, which transportation planners hope will handle more of the downtown-bound traffic.