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Council News Release

9/25/2006  4:21:00 PM
Phyllis Shulman, Conlin Office (206) 684-8805
Stephanie Pure, Steinbrueck Office (206) 684-8804

Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck

Feasibility of tunnel to be determined

SEATTLE Today the Council passed a resolution that requested Washington State officials, in partnership with the City, to evaluate the feasibility of the tunnel option for the Viaduct replacement when the tunnel option reaches the 15-20 percent design stage. If at that point, it is determined that the tunnel will not proceed, the Council resolution says the City shall immediately begin developing a surface-and-transit option that would substantially invest in mass transit, commute trip reduction, and other alternatives to travel by single-occupancy vehicle. Councilmember Richard Conlin says, We must recognize that investment in transit and transportation choices is the way of the future. If a tunnel cannot be built, a surface-plus-transit alternative has the potential to shift our paradigm on transportation completely. Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck says, The City needs to demonstrate fiscal and ecological sense. If a tunnel proves too expensive, we must take advantage of that opportunity to show that a surface-plus-transit option can move more people cheaper, faster, and with less pollution.

The resolution also strongly encourages the State to move swiftly to implement key projects that will sustain local mobility during the Viaduct replacement construction. The City also asks the State to develop mitigation and construction phasing plans that will, to the extent practicable, protect local businesses from the impacts of construction. Councilmember Richard Conlin says, The Viaduct replacement is a megaproject that is slated to last seven to ten years. We can ease the discomfort of that construction period by good preparation, planning, and project phasing. Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck says, We cant allow Seattle neighborhoods and businesses to be blighted by a huge construction project. We know thorough planning and intelligent choices can minimize the pain.


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