One goal of the Monday column is to explore ways that the tech industry influences the region.
One more reason the viaduct is relevant to the area’s tech industry: If politics kill the whole project, Microsoft and other companies in the Overlake tech cluster will benefit because the state will then turn its focus – and its major projects war chest — toward Highway 520.
Without the viaduct, the state might even resurrect plans for Highway 605, a new north-south corridor on the Eastside that has been considered off and on for decades. That project never took off, largely because it would put a freeway through rural areas and possibly sensitive habitat areas.
A few years ago the state revisited the concept, which it now calls the “commerce corridor.”
The additional 10,000 to 12,000 Microsoft employees planned for Redmond will figure heavily in the planning.