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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Hidden Costs

posted by on December 5 at 15:21 PM

As you know, both the costs for Nickels’s tunnel and the costs for rebuilding 520 skyrocketed thanks to updated construction inflation. Nickels’s tunnel, for example went from costing between $2.2 billion and $3.3 billion to now, between $3.6 and $5.5—a potential 66 percent increase.

The other projects that are part of the RTID package—like SR 167 and the Cross Base Highway—also got an inflation reality check. But WashDOT isn’t releasing those numbers.

The numbers exist, I was told by a WashDOT spokesperson Hadley Green, but she explained that WashDOT is waiting until Governor Gregoire releases her budget on December 18 before unveiling the new numbers. The apparent logic: The Governor’s budget will have an impact on RTID’s project choices.

But the numbers exist?
And the public can’t see them yet?

We’re doing a public records request so we can take a peek.

I just talked to another WashDOT spokesperson, Joy Carpine, who says her colleague got it wrong. The numbers are not ready yet.

Spidey senses are tingling.

RSS icon Comments


As well they should, Josh. It hardly seems a level playing field when you have a splashy press conference for the viaduct and 520 numbers and bury the others.

Posted by i prefer a reality-based commute | December 6, 2006 1:15 AM

Once again I am going to compare your costs of your tunnel to the cost of building a rapid transit tunnel in Vancouver Canada that is almost 10 times longer than the one being proposed in Seattle, (stations included). It comes in under 2 billion. With Nickel's figures a tunnel this long would cost approximately 44 billion (10 x 4 billion using a conservative projected cost). Has anyone proposed adding rapid transit to this tunnel (since it is being built). If it is just for cars then cars should pay for it ( toll ). If rapid transit was added then someone at Pike street market could get across town in minutes. Also it would turn the south end of seattle into an area that would become developed with condos because people could just ride transit to downtown seattle when getting to work. Then the line could be expanded upon later to go to the airport and then north.
3.6 - 5.5 billion does not sound right to me for a tunnel that is only going the length of downtown Seattle. There is already a tunnel that does that (train tunnel) and I am sure there was less debate over building it when that went in.

Posted by Brian | December 6, 2006 7:56 AM

Info on tunnel in Vancouver

Posted by Brian | December 6, 2006 7:59 AM

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