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Gregoire heading north to look at big hole

OLYMPIA -- The back and forth over plans to dig a humongously expensive tunnel for part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project is prompting Gov. Chris Gregoire to make a little day trip Thursday to Canada.

Gregoire's office announced this afternoon she'll be heading a delegation of state and Seattle area officials for a quick trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, to take a look at the deep bore tunnel for the Translink Canada Line from the city to the airport.

"The Washington delegation is seeking to learn firsthand about the multi-billion dollar transportation mega-project and what lessons can be learned as the state moves forward with the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project," the goveonor's staff said. Thinks like how to complete a project ahead of schedule and on budget.

The governor is taking Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver. Absent from the travelling list is Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who has been the most critical of the big dig project. Maybe he'll just look at everyone's vacation photos when they get back?

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.