Councilmember Licata left office on January 1, 2016.
This website is for archival purposes only, and is no longer updated.


Tag: Tunnel

Urban Politics #305: The State Legislature and Surface Solution for Alaska Way Viaduct

January 24th, 2011

While the debate will rage on about whether the state will pay for any cost overruns on the deep bore tunnel, the flip side of the issue is whether Seattle would keep the money already allocated to this project for a surface road alternative, as the Mayor prefers.


Urban Politics #294: Tunnel Costs

June 7th, 2010

The question that has dominated the discussion of the deep bore tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been: who will pay for any cost overruns? The answer is the State with regards to the contract for the tunnel. The reason is that the contractor that wins the design-build contract for the tunnel will be signing a contract with the State of Washington, not the City of Seattle. The contract will oblige WSDOT to cover risks associated with the tunnel. The City of Seattle will not be contractually obligated to cover cost overruns for the tunnel.


Urban Politics #280: Mayor’s Budget & The Deep Bore

September 25th, 2009

Today Mayor Greg Nickels presented his 2010 Proposed Budget to the City Council. One of the major elements accompanying his final budget is accompanying legislation to the Council requesting that we approve a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the State signing off on $787 million for the city’s obligations to fund projects related to the bored tunnel.


Urban Politics #272: Dig That Tunnel

January 15th, 2009

Chants of “drill, baby, drill” from this past fall echo in my mind, as the near unanimous political and editorial constellations line up to support the deep bore tunnel option for replacing the Alaska Way Viaduct. Although technically I suppose it would be “bore, baby, bore”.


Urban Politics #231: What is to be done with the Viaduct?

March 16th, 2007

From the March 13th election one can conclude that the majority of Seattle voters are not happy with either a tunnel or a new elevated viaduct replacing the current Alaskan Way Viaduct. Of course adjustments to both plans could be proffered in an attempt to keep them alive.

The State, City and King County have agreed to some short-term retrofitting of the Viaduct, upgrades to the Battery Street Tunnel, building a new State Route 99 from Holgate to King Street, and other improvements totaling around $900 million. This work will take place from 2007 to 2012. The target for a solution for the downtown waterfront is the next two years.


Urban Politics #227: Viaduct Vote

January 8th, 2007

I have drafted and will introduce, along with Councilmember David Della, a measure for a Seattle public vote on a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The measure calls for a vote between an elevated option and a tunnel. The measure would implement the Governor’s proposal for a vote of Seattle residents.


Urban Politics #219: Public Vote on the Tunnel

August 10th, 2006

On August 3, I announced my intent to introduce a resolution to the City Council calling for a public vote on a tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The proposal calls for a public vote on the following “Yes” or “No” question:

“Should Seattle construct a tunnel to replace the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct?”


Urban Politics #211: Alaskan Way Viaduct Update

March 23rd, 2006

A recent public opinion poll of Seattle residents conducted on March 15, 2006 shows that over 60% of those polled share my concern that a tunnel is too expensive to pursue and would rather see the Alaskan Way Viaduct rebuilt.


Urban Politics #196: Tunnel Report or Sales Job?

May 12th, 2005

One reporter commented to me after the City Council’s Monday Morning Briefing Meeting, “Were you all drinking Kool-Aid?”

The reference was to the general acceptance of a report that was intended to outline areas to be studied on the economic viability of building a tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct (AWV). Instead the consultant presented conclusions of another study which had not been reviewed by the Council and whose methodology largely rested on some dubious assumptions.


Urban Politics #144: Alaskan Way Viaduct Update

December 5th, 2002

This edition of Urban Politics is an update on the Alaskan Way Viaduct. I’ll first give an update on events since August, then provide my perspective at the end.