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Spin Control

Posts tagged: tunnel

Seattle voters dig the tunnel

While Spokane voters were sorting through 11 different ballot measures on a wide range of changes, Seattle voters had one big ballot measure to confront: Whether or not to replace the seismicly challenged Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel.

It's a nasty debate: Sort of the North-South Freeway controversy grafted to the Lincoln Street Bridge fight, pumped up on steroids, and hooked on crack. Or so it would seem from reading the various news and opinion sources in Pugetopolis. 

Apparently, the good citizens of Seattle have had enough. They backed building the tunnel with roughly a 60 percent vote in the early returns.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, a backer of the getting on with the tunnel, issued a somewhat restrained press release: Seattle voeters sent a message loud and clear with this vote — enough is enough. After 10 years of debate, hundreds of public meetings and technical studies and thousands of public comments it is time to move forward without delay.”

This being Seattle — where taking another look at things is a civic trait just like in Spokane — “without delay” might be a bit optimistic. But the vote could take much of the steam out of the tunnel foes.

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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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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