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March 27, 2006

Opinion: Readers sound off on viaduct options

Submerge the tunnel

Has a submerged tunnel (similar to the bridge/tunnels in the tidewater area of Virginia) been considered? Why not eliminate the viaduct entirely from its present location and replace it with a submerged tunnel under Elliott Bay?

Tom Sager

Live without it

I have forgotten whether it was Mayor Greg Nickels or King County Executive Ron Sims who said that if the viaduct had never been built, no one in their right mind today would ever suggest building a multi-lane, elevated highway across the face of this beautiful city of Seattle!! I wholeheartedly agree!

In my opinion, the viaduct should not be repaired. If building a tunnel is too expensive, then just tear the viaduct down and do not replace it with anything. People will learn to take other routes. The whole waterfront area would be so charming, so beautiful without it! I remember comments from San Francisco councilmen that after a bad earthquake damaged the viaduct that swooped across the face of their lovely city, the viaduct was torn down and not replaced and it was not missed!

Thank you for asking the public's opinion!

Kathleen M. Crabtree

No new viaduct

A new double deck viaduct that would be 50 percent BIGGER should not even be allowed by the city of Seattle. The options should be:

1) Replace the viaduct with a surface street. We're only really losing the top three lanes anyway. The parking lot and service road under the viaduct can be converted to a through street.

2) Build the tunnel. Decide how much adjacent property owners will benefit from the viaduct being gone, and then require them to put substantial money toward the cost. Decide how much time would be saved from traveling the tunnel versus surface street. Charge a toll, electronic for frequent users, that reflects the time saved. If average weekday traffic is about 100,000 trips, then collecting just $2 per trip only on week days would yield about $50 million per year. Supplement any difference needed with money contributed by Port of Seattle and a city bond issue.

Thank you for considering my suggestions.

Cliff Jones

Why ask voters?

I believe it's rather unfortunate that this is going before the voters, and not being decided by the leadership that we have already voted into office.

When considering the big picture of the central waterfront, i.e., seawall replacement, SR-99 capacity replacement, urban design and livability issues, the tunnel is simply the only alternative that makes sense as a long-term investment into such a critical area of Seattle.

Mike Mariano

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