Tunnels and Tsunamis – Should We Keep Building The $2 billion Tunnel Project (Opinion)

There is a referendum drive to stop the $2 billion tunnel project. Let’s hope this terrible Japan tragedy makes the pro-tunnel people THINK. If a tsunami hits, this will be nothing more than a culvert to carry the water faster.

The tunnel was voted down twice by the people but like the stadiums that were voted down and built the big spenders think we don’t understand what we are voting for or against. Let me help to make it a little easier to understand (as I see it since I have been living here for 90 years). It will be too small and outdated before it’s ever built. You cannot get to downtown in it. There are no exits. It will not help the traffic mess at all. We cannot afford it even if it was a good idea. There are things like being able to eat and keep our homes than raising our taxes to pay for it. The residents of Seattle have to pay for cost overruns. There is no limit on how much this might be. We are being taxed to death; more on that in another article. But for example, the Port of Seattle who pay their Chief almost $400,000 plus goodies says he will give $300 million to the project and wants to raise our property taxes AGAIN. The state and county will contribute millions, not sure about the Federal, but every dime will come right out of your pocket. None of these agencies have a money tree. They have to take it away from you (whether you realize it or not) and pay themselves bloated salaries to ROB you.

A few different questions come to mind that I hope makes you think past “how nice a tunnel might be.” We are sitting on an earthquake fault, just like Japan. We are waiting for the big one, just like Japan. Is digging right where the earthquake is predicted to occur a good idea? Is digging right under the historic buildings a good idea? The whole purpose of the tunnel (I think) was to protect people who might be driving on the viaduct or be under it. In an earthquake, the tunnel would be a death trap of the worst kind. For sure, there would be a tsunami. Is the Governor, Port Chief, and County executive going to stand by 24/7 with huge corks to put in each end of the tunnel when an earthquake hits? I don’t think they have even thought about any of this. I did not list the Mayor because he is against the tunnel and got elected because he was against the tunnel. You have to give credit where credit is due. He is supporting the referendum to stop the tunnel. Find where to sign the petition.

No one knows when an earthquake may hit. If the viaduct fails, it will kill some people. We all know that. But if I had a choice of being sandwiched between the levels or thrown off or smashed below, I would choose it in a heartbeat over being in the giant water culvert a/k/a tunnel. Why not knock the viaduct down and don’t build the tunnel? See if the world ends. See if everyone quits going to work. You can’t get downtown in the tunnel anyway. Anything beats a $2 billion dollar tunnel. They will charge tolls but like the bus changes, they spent millions on it to only fine that people don’t use it.

Seattle Washington Viaduct
Seattle Washington Viaduct

Update: The Viaduct was built and is going strong. It took 4 years to build. You can read more about it here where Mayor Mike McGinn emailed me.

The Viaduct did get approved by the Seattle City Council.

Having lived in Seattle (Georgetown) for over 80 years, Lilly has a passion for the area. A true Seattleite, Lilly has the history & experience to discuss any topic. Being retired, she enjoys visiting with her many grand children, gardening, and writing.

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