Seattle's Big Dig Controversy

Seattle's new mayor come January, Mike McGinn, a former Sierra Club activist, withdrew his campaign threat to veto the highway tunnel planned to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct.

A 54-foot wide tunnel is planned to replace the seismically unsound Viaduct along the Seattle waterfront amidst much criticism. Construction should begin in 2011. Opponents hope to change public opinion when McGinn takes office in January.

"McGinn said in an interview that he thought the tunnel remained a bad environmental choice with a "very high probability" that it would become an expensive boondoggle.

Advocates for replacing the viaduct with improved surface roadways said the waterfront could be beautified at a much lower cost.

Tunnel supporters and opponents agree on one point: The waterfront's current Alaskan Way Viaduct -- a double-decker freeway damaged in a 2001 earthquake -- must be torn down. Seismologists have warned the structure may collapse if another major temblor hits."

Thanks to Len Conly

Full Story: Seattle Girds for Tunnel Fight

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