These photos are actually legally taken this time:
It was a pretty nice event. Governor Christine Gregoire spoke, as did Senator Patty Murray, Pierce County Executive and Sound Transit Chair (and cowboy boot enthusiast) John Ladenburg, Port Commissioner Lloyd Hara, and State Representative Dave Upthegrove. The station looked great and it was actually raining during the speeches but I didn’t feel a drop on me. Beneath the station is a wonderful bus transfer section where buses can pick up and drop off on both sides of the station. There’s a lot of room for multi-modal transfers there.
There’s going to be a really nice mezzanine between the platform and the ground where the buses are. I wonder what exactly that space will be used for. They have already finished the elevated section between Rainier Valley and Tukwila so the only concrete construction left is from Tukwila to Seatac itself.
Some random things I learned at the event:
- Politicians are great at congratulating themselves and thanking each other. On this note, Patty Murray said something great (paraphrased) “in twenty years people won’t remember who the leaders were, they will just be glad that it was built”.
- The port commissioners really do answer to no one. Lloyd Hara said “we are going to make this a green airport” in the same sentence as saying “were are expanding 509 to the airport and adding a third runway.” It can’t become a green airport if you are adding highway lanes to the roads leading there and increasing the amount of air traffic.
- On that note, where were the Sierra Club when these plans were being made? 509 expansion? That’s 15 lanes of general purpose highway (I’m not being facetious). We all know that air travel pollutes as much as highway travel per distance travelled, so where were they when the third runway was being built? One flight to New York and back is as bad as a 12 mile each way commute in a car for a whole year. A 50% increase in traffic at Seatac is a far bigger carbon effect than the roads in Prop. 1.
- Union construction workers are very friendly people.
- One factor in the long walk from the station to the terminals in the airport is that they are moving the terminals northward toward where the station is due to the increased traffic there. I had no idea that was going to happen.
- Both Patty Murray and Christine Gregoire are very short. Both Larry Philips and Dave Upthegrove are very tall.