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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 30, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Alaskan Way Viaduct

Tunnel design unsafe

Your support of the viaduct tunnel replacement option is inappropriate [“Replace the viaduct with a tunnel,” editorial, March 27].

At a minimum, this facility is classed as a “Divided Multilane P-1 Urban Arterial.” The state Department of Transportation design standard requires 12-foot lanes and 10-foot shoulders on both sides of the traveled way.

Obviously, the design you champion with only an 8-foot shoulder on one side a 4-foot shoulder on the other is inadequate.

Indeed, more concerning is that with freeway-operating characteristics and high truck volumes, the actual standard design requirements call for 12-foot shoulders.

Additionally, none of the mandated standard design shoulder widths described above include a required 1.5-foot “shy distance” to the tunnel walls.

As you can readily see, the design being proposed by the state, King County and the city of Seattle is grossly remiss.

Only the trial attorneys will benefit from the tunnel as now described in your editorial. For Washington motorists, as you can see, the design is unsafe. You really need to revise your position on this significant project.

— Christopher V. Brown, Seattle.

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