Tunnel Picked for Seattle Viaduct Replacement

Officials in Washington have come to a consensus on plans to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle's damaged inner-city arterial. They've decided on a $4 billion tunnel, but the plans still need approval from the state legislature.

"Whether they can get the Legislature -- specifically, House Speaker Frank Chopp -- to endorse the most expensive option for replacing the vital Seattle arterial remains to be seen."

"The last time the viaduct battle came to a head, Chopp, D-Seattle, vigorously opposed anything but an above-ground replacement. He is credited with killing the tunnel plan the last time around."

"Since that time, he has invested energy designing and promoting an above-the-ground replacement that would have included a throughway and a shopping center -- all capped with a waterfront park."

"On Monday, Seattle Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis confirmed that a consensus had been reached to build a deep-bore tunnel, with an estimated cost of more than $4 billion."

Full Story: Viaduct choice: It's a tunnel



Real Cost Of Seattle Tunnel Option

"They've decided on a $4 billion tunnel, but the plans still need approval from the state legislature."

$4 billion is the initial estimate, but what is the real cost?

Boston's Big Dig, a similar project, was estimated at $2.8 billion in 1985 (in 1982 dollars), but over $14.6 billion ($8.08 billion in 1982 dollars) was spent by 2006.

The Big Dig will have to pay an additional $7 billion in interest, bringing its total cost to $22 billion.

Charles Siegel

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