Six years ago, I warned us of the Seattle version of Boston's notorious "Big Dig,"
In a nutshell:
The Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in the U.S. and was plagued by escalating costs, scheduling overruns, leaks, design flaws, charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials, criminal arrests, and one death. The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 1998 at an estimated cost of $2.8 billion (in 1982 dollars, US$6.0 billion adjusted for inflation as of 2006). However, the project was completed only in December 2007, at a cost of over $14.6 billion ($8.08 billion in 1982 dollars, meaning a cost overrun of about 190%) as of 2006. The Boston Globe estimated that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest, and that it will not be paid off until 2038. As a result of the death, leaks, and other design flaws, the consortium that oversaw the project agreed to pay $407 million in restitution, and several smaller companies agreed to pay a combined sum of approximately $51 million.While amounts vary, I knew from the beginning that like the CRC Scam, we were being lied to in two critical areas that no one in government cares about:
Money... and time.
MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2009
You know, I'm FROM Seattle. And every day, in every way, Seattle becomes an increasingly greater place to be FROM.
The problem here is that in this instance of insanity, we can neither afford this nonsense nor is it necessary. In those respects, the situation in Seattle is not unlike the situation we face here: the unneeded and unwanted, as well as indecently expensive replacement of the I-5 Bridge for purposes of bringing loot rail into Vancouver.
I vividly remember the pro-gas tax campaign not too long ago: we were repeatedly (and wrongfully) told that if we voted the gas tax down, the Alaskan Way Viaduct would collapse, killing millions and that the world would end as we knew it.
The Alaskan Way Viaduct would be replaced
by a tunnel under an agreement reached
between the state, King County.
They were lying, of course... but our state supreme court has approved the process of campaign lies, so the messaging continued. The result? The people spoke. We were, as I pointed out, lied to... and the project list underwent a massive (30% or so) cut (all another part of our government lying to us) 60 seconds or so (figuratively speaking) after the vote passed.
So now, instead of doing the right thing...instead of repairing and/or upgrading the Viaduct (much like we should be considering when it comes to the I-5 Bridge, but an unacceptable option to the downtown Mafia who demand loot rail at any price) the idiots running our government want the most expensive possible option: tearing down the viaduct and putting in a tunnel.
Think "Big Dig," and what an utter, complete disaster that was and is. Think in terms of $4.25 billion only being the opening charge. Think in terms of additional, unspoken billions and tax increases to pay for it. Think in terms of special interests blowing holes in our collective wallets.
I knew it 6 years ago and I'm a nobody. How come *I* knew it and apparently, no one else did?
So now, the city is trying to stick it to the entire state to pay for their stupidiy when the ONLY alternative that made any sense was the same alternative we face down here on the I-5 bridge: retrofit and repair.
Had that route been taken, what is spinning out of control and requiring additional billions (Not unlike the idiocy of the CRC Scam and the SR 520, $400 million spent without a shovel full of dirt being turned floating bridge scam) could have been accomplished for a few hundred million, the esthetic sensibilities of the fringe-left, Seattle-centric slime behind this scam notwithstanding,
And then, the House Transportation Chair (and where's she from?) wouldn't have needed to go full potato on this:
Change-order requests by STP have reached $210 million, including $125 million STP seeks for Bertha’s repairs and delays, Trepanier told lawmakers. The state holds $144 million in contingency and intervention funds, he said.
Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, asked an uncomfortable question: If $20 million is slipping away, what happens after $210 million in claims, if the state losses exceed the tunnel’s reserves?
That prompted Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, to ask that members take detailed questions “offline” after the hearing.Yeah. Because we damned sure can't have the people actually KNOWING the answer to that question NOW, can we?
Is it any wonder people hate their government?