Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Alaskan Way Viaduct

Feb.
11th

BERTHA: Time to put machine out of its misery

I would really like to discuss the state Route 167 extension into Tacoma from Puyallup, but I believe it is more important to talk about Bertha.

Everyone knows who Bertha is, right? That’s the broken-down tunneling machine down in that big money pit in Seattle. This has gone beyond ridiculous. Even if they can repair it and put it back together, what’s to say it won’t break down again?

It is time to bite the bullet and bury Bertha where it is. If the viaduct can’t be repaired, then run traffic on new surface streets. I am sure that some property owners

Read more »

Feb.
6th

TUNNEL: Modern Bertha vs. old-time brawn

In 1903, a one-mile-long tunnel below downtown Seattle from Alaskan Way on the waterfront to Fourth Avenue South and Washington Street was built by Great Northern Railway. The construction costs were split by Great Northern and the Northern Pacific.

Work began on April 4, 1903; 350 laborers with picks, shovels, and wheelbarrows started digging from the Northern and the Southern portals. Along the dig they came across blue clay and hard gravel formations that required drilling. During the excavation, water seepage plagued the diligent crews.

Nonetheless, the two tunnels were connected on Oct. 26, 1904. Two months later, the tunnel was

Read more »

Aug.
10th

VIADUCT: State employees withhold records

On the eve of an election in Seattle related to the deep-bore tunnel, state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) employees are once again withholding records. It happened before; it should be no surprise that it is happening again because the watchdog agency that should stop this behavior, the Executive Ethics Board (EEB), has signaled it will do nothing.

The last time WSDOT employees withheld records on the eve of a Seattle election, it took a superior court order to make the EEB conduct an investigation. The multibillion-dollar, deep-bore tunnel was a central issue then, too.

The ink was barely dry on

Read more »

April
1st

VIADUCT: Wouldn’t tunnel be dangerous, too?

I must be missing something. The effect of an earthquake on the Alaskan Way Viaduct is understood. But I have not noticed any discussion of the effect of an earthquake on the proposed tunnel that would replace the viaduct.

Being in the tunnel during an earthquake sounds pretty bad to me.

March
31st

VIADUCT: Tunnel’s the wrong idea in the wrong place

Re: “Don’t let tunnel critics drive up costs with delays” (editorial, 3-31).

Why shouldn’t the people of Seattle vote on the state Route 99 tunnel? In opinion polls, only 35 percent of the people approved of the tunnel option. That means 65 percent of the people didn’t. I can understand why.

Look at where they are building it. That whole waterfront area is nothing but landfill. There is a sign across Alaskan Way from the viaduct commemorating an island that became part of the city’s waterfront after enough garbage was dumped into the area to fill the span between the

Read more »