News The Tunnel Is Dead
posted by January 17 at 16:10 PMon
(3:35 p.m.) Well, Deputy Mayor Ceis was just called into the governor’s office to join: the meeting with Nickels, Chopp, Brown, Clibborn, Haugen, and Licata. (Word is city council transportation chair Jan Drago is on speaker phone.)
I guess this is one of those Gregoire meetings—it’s already run an hour and a half over—where no one leaves until there’s a compromise. (Gregoire has pulled it off before, including, famously, brokering a deal between doctors and lawyers on medical malpractice…)
Oh wait… Gregoire just came out (it’s 3:55 p.m.)—with everybody except Nickels and Ceis (?!?)— and she read a statement that there are only two options on the table now: Move forward with an elevated viaduct replacement or reallocate funding to the 520 replacement.
According to the statement, Nickels and Drago tried to pitch having a vote on tunnel lite by April 24. However, Chopp and the governor and all the transportation chairs rejected that timeline.
Gregoire left it this way: Everyone needs to get back to her with their ideas on the elevated option and also the possibility of moving the $2.2 billion to 520.
This is a nuclear threat from Gregoire to the city saying you either build this elevated viaduct or lose the money to 520 (i.e., no fucking surface option, and no obstructing the elevated in order to revive the tunnel).
It looks like the governor and Democrats like Chopp do not want to go back up for election in 2008 having got the 9.5 cent gas tax for major projects and not having delivered on either one of the biggies.