Council President Nick Licata
Councilmember David J. Della
MORE WISHES WON’T DIG A TUNNEL
Councilmembers Della and Licata say the finances of the tunnel are still shaky
SEATTLE - Council President Nick Licata and Councilmember David J. Della say that today’s report from the state’s Expert Review Panel about the finances for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the State Route 520 bridge point the way forward clearly. “It’s time to stop dithering and rebuild the viaduct,” says Councilmember David Della.
The Expert Review Panel’s report had major concerns that the financing plans for these mega-projects were “overly optimistic,” that the range of costs were “unreasonably narrow,” and inflation estimates for the projects’ expenses were too low.
Given these findings, Councilmember Della believes there is only one financially responsible alternative before us: replace the viaduct as an elevated structure. “With each new report and each passing day,” says Councilmember Della, “the tunnel becomes less and less affordable. We need to choose the most cost-effective strategy to replace this vital piece of infrastructure.”
Council President Licata says the report shows how the replacement of the viaduct and the SR-520 bridge cannot be separated. “The link between these two projects is clear. If we fund the tunnel, there’s not enough money to fund a replacement for 520.”