Via Slog, the Governor says the viaduct surface option is an “open question”. The state has $2.8 billion lined up for a viaduct replacement, with a rebuild costing about $4 billion, and a surface option something like $2 billion.

So I have an idea. You want Seattle to be an “international city” in the future, let’s do what hundreds of other “international cities” have done and spend the $2billion difference between the surface and the rebuild on light rail. $2 billion should be able to a buy LRT subway from West Seattle to lower Queen Anne and possibly even Interbay, especially with a bit of federal funding thrown in.

What do you say?

6 Replies to “Viaduct Idea”

  1. I can’t tell from the Times article whether the governor is for or against spending state money on light rail.

    Which light rail adds “north-south” capacity?

  2. I’m down for that! indeed, “international cities” have rail systems, and ours should be no exception.

    Unfortunately, it’s probably going to cost $2B or so just to tear down the viaduct, replace the seawall and rebuild a surface street. So there’s not much money left over. But we could certainly consider a West-Seattle-SODO light rail spur, for example. You could probably build that for $500M or so (i.e. the cost of one of those fancy new SODO sports arenas).

  3. Not to pour cold water on this great idea, but how much of the Viaduct money is gas tax money, and therefore constitutionally prohibited from spending on trains?

  4. You could design the street for center or side running rail transit and then create a BID district for all that property which is fronting the ROW and will definitely appreciate in value when you tear down the monster.

Comments are closed.