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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
9/20/2006  5:10:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tatsuo Nakata, Della Office, (206) 684-8806
Newell Aldrich, Licata Office (206) 684-8803

Council President Nick Licata
Councilmember David J. Della

COUNCILMEMBERS CRITICAL OF $5.5 BILLION PRICE TAG FOR TUNNEL
Call for advisory measure that includes cost estimates

SEATTLE — Council President Nick Licata and Councilmember David J. Della issue the following statements in response to today’s news of revised cost estimates for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) issued revised estimates for the tunnel replacement (estimated $3.6-$5.5 billion) and aerial replacement (estimated $2.2-$3.3 billion) options in response to a request from the Governor and the Expert Review Panel (ERP) established to study the project.

Councilmember Della, an advocate for rebuilding the Viaduct as an elevated structure with available funds, stated, “The people of Seattle need to have a say in this important project and need to be provided as much information as possible about just how much money they could be on the hook for. We have these new numbers in time to include in an advisory ballot measure—and we should do so. Transportation dollars are finite. We’ve got other major projects that we must ensure funding for that we can’t afford to jeopardize at the unnecessary expense and cost uncertainty of vanity projects.”

Council President Licata, who put forward an amendment that would require any advisory ballot question on the Viaduct to include dollar figure estimates, stated, “These new cost estimates make a tunnel even less feasible. Furthermore, the cost figures assume the funding will be available when needed, and no lengthy litigation or project delays—both highly debatable assumptions. It is even more imperative now that the public have the opportunity to vote.”

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