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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 11, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Alaskan Way Viaduct

Listen to the stakeholders

After one year of meetings and then being told that the three agencies will make the final recommendation as to the preferred option, the stakeholders should be upset [“Viaduct ‘stakeholders’ complain,” News, Dec. 8].

If past performance is any guideline the state, the city and county will ignore any more input by the stakeholders.

While the recent analysis has been on the central section of the viaduct, the project has been divided into three parts: the north section, the central and the south section. All need to be taken into consideration so that the total costs are not forgotten.

Last August the state called for discussion of the EIS [environmental impact statement] for the south section. We stated that the EIS was incomplete in that it did not include retrofitting the entire viaduct. The EIS did not deal with the cost of business disruption during the four years of construction and traffic impact of 110,000 cars displaced.

The south section alone is now estimated to cost $544 million.

The cost of the north section and work on Aurora is, as of now, unknown. The central section is estimated to be about $800 to $900 million — not including the $498 million for Interstate 5 and $378 million for surface-street improvements.

The cost of yearly business disruption is not included.

It does not make any sense to push for any surface or hybrid option with a total cost of more than $2.38 billion and wind up with less traffic capacity than we now have.

The retrofit can be done for less than half of any surface option and be completed within three years, while maintaining traffic during construction.

The stakeholders should be heard and the retrofit should be in the final mix.

— Victor O. Gray, Port Townsend

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