Pro-Tube Commuters Praise Gregoire for Viaduct Delay

Responsibility for solving one of Seattle most troubling infrastructure problems in years has fallen squarely on the shoulders of the top executive in Washington State. In the midst of troubling economic times and immense budget shortfalls, Governor Chris Gregoire is expected to make a decision that will effect the vitality of Seattle metropolitan area for decades to come.

Citizens for Seattle Tube, a rapidly growing contingency of Seattle area commuters and business owners, is thankful that the Governor has sensed the need to study the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project a little further. The two options put forth by WSDOT, a new waterfront viaduct versus a labyrinth of surface street modifications, just isn’t solving all the issues for Seattle. Despite pressure to make a final decision, the governor is doing what good leaders do–she is making sure that all options are considered.

The Governor has heard hints of a new tunnel possibility that some claim have not been thoroughly evaluated by WSDOT. New technologies have emerged in recent years show that tube-style bored tunnels have proven out to be the best fix for difficult traffic problems like Seattle has. The governor is looking into seeing if the problem can be solved in “3D” while most are still thinking in “2D” according to Bruce Agnew of Cascadia, a regional transportation adviser.

When many hear the word “tunnel” they are thinking of the waterfront cut and cover tunnel turned down by voters in the 2007 Measure 2 public advisory poll. It has been difficult for WSDOT to pursue other tunnel options because of the negative stigma generated by the waterfront tunneling folly. Special interest groups have been highly vocal and influential in garnishing waves of public discord at every turn, frustrating traffic engineers and tainting the possibilities for clear resolutions. The controversy over what to do about the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project has gone on so long that the situation has gotten toxic.

While the Governor has been adamant about bringing the viaduct situation to a head with the firm position that “buck stops here”, she has made it clear that she is not going to condemn Seattle and the State of Washington with results of a marginally supported decision.

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