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New date for Ruston Tunnel reopening

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Aug. 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
August 30, 2010 2:27 pm

If you’re getting used to the detour around the Ruston Tunnel, you’ll now have a couple more weeks to use it.

A new release from the folks at Point Ruston says the new reopening date for the tunnel now is Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. It had been scheduled for reopening this Friday.

Point Ruston, the billion-dollar housing and retail development on the site of the old Asarco copper smelter near Point Defiance Park, is building a new boulevard through the old smelter site to replace the historic but deteriorating Ruston Tunnel. The closure of the tunnel is to allow installation of utilities beneath the existing Ruston Way roadway.

Eventually, when the new boulevard is done, the old tunnel will be filled in with lightly contaminated soil from the old smelter site and sealed up. The tunnel couldn’t be removed without threatening the stability of the nearby BNSF rail tunnel through the site, so the plan was hatched to fill it. The BNSF rail line is the main rail connection between Seattle and Portland.

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