Viaduct=Tunnel bill gets final OK, with cost-overrun provision

After the state House passed the Alaskan Way Viaduct=Tunnel bill (SB 5768) the other night,
it had to go back for one more Senate vote because of some amendments, including the one that says cost overruns will be covered by “property owners in the Seattle area who benefit from replacing the existing viaduct with the tunnel.” Within the past hour, the Senate passed the bill, as amended by the House, 39-9; the yes votes included West Seattle’s State Sen. Joe McDermott. Governor Gregoire said afterward, “”We are on the way to one of the most important transportation years in Washington’s history. … Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving a very complex project is a remarkable accomplishment. The deep-bored tunnel replacement will create jobs, help us emerge from this recession stronger and prepare our state for a 21st-century economy.”

15 Replies to "Viaduct=Tunnel bill gets final OK, with cost-overrun provision"

  • CB April 24, 2009 (7:07 pm)

    And now we’ll have years of law suites, and referendums delaying the project and doubling the cost. Grid lock, Seattle style.

  • Pete April 24, 2009 (7:19 pm)

    It is a toothles amendment since it does not specify which propert owenrs will pick up the tab for any overrun. All other cities in the entire state should sit up and take notice of this provision since it sets a very dangerous precedent in my opinion. Now anytime a city goes to Olympia with a state highway project that is located in their city they too could be subjected to covering cost overruns. State highay projects should be paid from state transportation dollars not local tax dollars that should go to local projects.

  • 56bricks April 24, 2009 (8:07 pm)

    Are all of our lawmakers idiots, or just most of them? Answered my own question.

  • bfly April 24, 2009 (9:21 pm)

    west seattlites have just been royally screwed.

  • John April 24, 2009 (9:49 pm)

    Does anyone know if there can be a lawsuit filed against the state for this tax amendment that is unprecedented?

  • KBear April 24, 2009 (10:12 pm)

    If we could keep all the tax protesting whiners out of the tunnel once it’s built, traffic would move even faster!

  • John April 24, 2009 (10:35 pm)

    Yeah it’s terrible for us to want to know where our property taxes are going as I watch my bill increase drastically every year, and other important city services are cut. Maybe you should pay for your tunnel with a toll? You drive on it, you pay for it.

  • soc April 25, 2009 (7:45 am)

    Seriously? Did we not vote AGAINST this the first time around? Socialism, we’re on our way…Socialists, move on in, you’ll feel right at home.

  • Tim April 25, 2009 (7:57 am)

    West Seattlites should get a tax reduction as “Seattle property owners who are harmed by the replacement of the viaduct with a tunnel”.

  • Nants April 25, 2009 (9:01 am)

    I’m unclear on why West Seattle is harmed by a tunnel.

  • beef April 25, 2009 (10:39 am)

    The people voted against a cut and cover tunnel not a deep bore tunnel. Worlds of difference. The viadust will still be available most the time this tunnel is constructed and the disruptions will be orders of magnitude less with the deep bore variety.

    The time and money not lost to people and businesses will more than outweigh the cost differences.

    Please when you state this – tell people it was a cut and cover tunnel they rejected not a deep bore tunnel.

  • M April 25, 2009 (1:40 pm)

    Hey WSB, can you clarify (I’m lazy.. don’t want to read all the stuff).. will the viaduct remain standing while this tunnel is being built???

  • WSB April 25, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    That’s what they’re saying. As long as it remains safe – they’ll continue to do inspections, etc. – but it wouldn’t come down till after the tunnel is built, under the current plan – TR

  • Michael April 28, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    Seriously, “we” did not vote against this plan. It was our elected REPRESENTATIVE government doing their jobs.
    The founding fathers tried to protect us from endless referendums and gridlock via this representative system, so sorry if you believe it “socialist.”
    As for the tunnel, HELL YEAH, it’s high time we got off our collective asses and got this done. The “overrun” amendment is likely moot for two reasons: 1) WSDOT historically doesn’t go over budget (yes, there’s always a first time, but it speaks to their planning); 2) It will likely get struck down in court (local responsibility for a state highway? Seriously?).
    West Seattle is helped by this, in large part because it’s the only replacement option that lets us continue to use 99 while much of it is built. It’s a cost-efficient solution that also lets the Mayor and local business get their way. I don’t really see who loses here.

  • Michael April 28, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    Beef, that logic never stopped people from griping about Safeco Field, which had a similar history, so I don’t expect it to stop now.

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