This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

I found my way to the Columbia River Crossing website today, and I was duly impressed. It outlines all the potential alternatives in a clear way, shows cost estimates, and even includes an event calendar with an RSS feed!

We have several megaprojects here in Puget Sound, and I can’t recall any that have such an informative, easy-to-use website. The downtown tunnel site is decent, but limited in scope.

The crossing project is estimated at $3.1B – $4.2B, which puts it in range of the Viauct and 520, neither of which have websites that are at all comparable. Sure, there’s the WSDOT project pages, but with all due respect, they’re pretty meager.

In the meantime, for each of these Seattle-area projects, independent advocacy groups have stepped in to fill the void, such as the People’s Waterfont Coalition and But they both have a single point of view. And while it’s fine and

When Sound Transit releases a poll showing that 95% of Puget Sound residents had no idea how much that huge, much-publicized ballot measure acutally cost, it’s a wakeup call to all public agencies: your outreach efforts aren’t working.

Now, maybe WSDOT looked at the traffic on the CRC website and decided no one was visiting it and so it wasn’t worth trying again, I don’t buy it. If anyone out there has more information on why Seattle-area megaprojects haven’t done this sort of thing, drop us a line.

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