Monday, January 19, 2009

The Viaduct in a Tunnel, I-5 in a Tunnel

To the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

The decision is made: A tunnel will replace the Viaduct. The waterfront eyesore will be gone. The plan could even be called visionary.

I propose we further expand our vision and eliminate an even greater eyesore. While we are boring a big tunnel, we might as well bore an even bigger one, a tunnel big enough not only for SR 99 but also for Interstate 5.

In one bold stroke we could reclaim not only the waterfront but also central Seattle, 40 city blocks, all the way from Yesler to Mercer.

We could reunite the Downtown that was bisected fifty years ago. There are a lot of people born before 1960 who can remember what Seattle was like before its face was scarred by I-5. The Post-Intelligencer should interview them.

Where there is now a noisy freeway barrier, there would be acres of new parks and high rise residential and commercial buildings.

What about the cost? The cost is the best part. The lease and sale of development rights for those 40 city blocks would probably produce enough revenues to pay for the entire project. We could get both tunnels for free.

There is more to my proposal. It is lengthy so I have posted it at:
(Click here to read the April, 2008, blog discussing a combined SR 99 and I-5 tunnel, plus other issues relating to comprehensive transportation planning.)