Just Heard: Tunnel decision looms
The City Council aims to finalize its agreement with the state over the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct on July 26. But that doesn’t mean the project is a foregone conclusion.
Brady Montz, chair of the Sierra Club’s Seattle chapter says his and other local groups are discussing ways to fight the tunnel should City Hall approve it. He says taking the Council’s authorizing legislation to the people, via referendum, is one option. Montz notes that the Council’s memorandum of agreement with the state Department of Transportation is likely to leave the city holding the bag for any cost overruns. A city planner told the Council July 12 that the project has a 60 percent chance of meeting its budgeted cost of $1.96 billion. In allocating funding for the project, the State Legislature specified that the City of Seattle would have to pay for any extra costs.
Montz says there are no definite plans to turn the tunnel decision over to voters, but “People are starting to openly talk and think about it now.”
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