Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Highway 99 tunnel: Think about sunk cost

In The Seattle Times editorial “Digging out from the tunnel mess” [Opinion, Dec. 10], the editorial board stated, “The lack of a clear path forward is emboldening the doomsday prognosticators demanding that the plug be pulled on the tunnel. With $1 billion of the $1.44 billion contract already spent, that would be grievous mistake.”

Although I favor the tunnel project, The Times has put forth a highly flawed argument. The Times needs to think about the business concept of sunk cost:

“Money already spent and permanently lost. Sunk costs are past opportunity costs that are partially (as salvage, if any) or totally irretrievable and, therefore, should be considered irrelevant to future decision making,” according to businessdictionary.com.

It would be a big mistake to continue the tunnel project solely because a billion dollars have already been spent. If, for example, new data indicated that the project will now cost an additional $20 billion, or that the chance of success is very low due to technical issues with the drilling, then it is in the taxpayers’ best interest to abandon the project regardless of how much has already been “sunk.”

David Goodkin, Bellevue

Comments | More in Viaduct | Topics: Bertha, David Goodkin, highway 99

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►