This is a pretty stunning bit of tunnel news. It cost $80 million to build Bertha, the downtown tunnel-boring machine that's taking a year off for repairs. Now we learn it could cost $125 million to fix Bertha.
Since we have a whole year to ponder just how messed up this is, let’s begin by thinking about other things we could do with $125 million.
Oh, here’s something: We could fund adequate Metro bus service in King County for nearly two years (or, we could fund adequate bus service in Seattle alone for six years).
I know that in terms of byzantine state and locals budgets, we're talking about different pots of money here. (The pot of tax revenue that may go toward the still-to-be-litigated tunnel machine repairs vs. the pot of tax revenue that could have gone to Metro had Prop 1 passed vs. the pot of tax revenue that will go to Metro in Seattle if this new property tax measure is successful.)
Still, at the end of the day we're talking about tax revenue and how we prioritize its spending in this state.
So, as a continued thought experiment: What else could we get for $125 million in tax dollars?