Alaskan Way Viaduct

  • Apparently its not just transit around that costs more around here than in other parts of the country. The third runway at Sea-Tac will have cost more than $1 billion when it opens for air traffic next week, and debt service will continue until 2035. The article mentions a future debate about where to put the next airport, since Sea-Tac will likely be overcrowded again by 2024. If debating airports is anything like debating bridges or rail lines, I guess we’ll see a new airport in, oh, about 2060.
  • Parking rates are going up around the city, mostly as way to raise new funds. Surprisingly (to me) the business community is for the changes, since it will mean more spaces for shoppers.
  • This P-I piece on the Viaduct replacement options has two really interesting facts: 1) at least 766 parking spaces will be eliminated, regardless of which option is choosen, and 2) if option B is chose, daily transit trips to the city center will increase 196,000 to as many as 305,000 by 2015.
  • A better bailout for Detroit, have the federal government order a fleet of “green” cars.

13 Replies to “News Round-Up”

  1. I’ve seen some speculation of turning a military airfield at Moses Lake into such an airport, but it would need high-speed-rail access, since it is about 178 miles away on I-90. Back in the early 1990’s, someone proposed a maglev line, but maglev has not been very successful. There is an existing railroad line that goes near it, BNSF’s Everett-Spokane line through Stevens Pass, but it is not very well adapted to continuous 150-200-mph travel.

  2. …since Sea-Tac will likely be overcrowded again by 2024.

    While I was (and still am) opposed to the third runway being built, as my family’s old house was under the flight path, it should be noted that the primary reason for the third runway is NOT to reduce overcrowding. It is to help get planes on the ground in inclement weather. Only one of the runways is currently set up for instrument landings, so having two at times when landings have to be spaced out more gets the incoming planes on the ground.

    1. Both runways at SeaTac are set up for instruments landings. However, aircraft separation must be as if there is only one runway since the runways are too close together.

      With the third runway the more planes will be able to land in any given hour, allowing more flights to be on time, therefore allowing the airlines to keep to their schedules and gate assignments, reducing delays for departures as well. All delays at airports have a cascading effect throughout the day on opearations all over the country. Any extra capacity at any airport these days is much needed. Even with the economic downturn.

  3. BurienBen is correct about the separation rules, and Joshua is also correct about arrivals. The Port expects delays to be cut in half with the third runway, benefiting both airlines and passengers.

    It should also be noted, the opening of the third runway will not mean any additional fee or tax. No public taxes are being used to pay the debt, neither is it a cost being passed on to airline landing fees. They are using Passenger Facility Charges to pay off the debt. That’s something we’ve always been paying and it can’t go up without Congressional approval. So, they’re managing their money to use the fees already being collected to pay off the debt.

  4. As for having detroit make a fleet of green cars for the federal government…
    it would do nothing to address the industry’s incompetence or the union’s unreasonable demands. let the foriegn car companies take over, theyre better run and better products and still have US plants.

    these detroit green cars would just be lemons painted green.

    1. You mean subway vs non-subway?

      The underground stations will be Beacon Hill, International District, Pioneer Square, University Street, Westlake, Capitol Hill, Husky Stadium, Brooklyn, and Roosevelt.

      Bellevue might get an underground station, though there isn’t currently funding for it. If funding does become available, either via bellevue chipping in or a grant of some sort, you could see the main downtown bellevue station be underground.

      1. It would be elevated all the way to Lynnwood? What about to Redmond and south of Seatac? Is it going to be all elevated or grade separated?

  5. The airport issue can be solved pretty quickly if Ron Sims wanted to. There were proposals by both Southwest and Alaska to move operations to Boeing field in 2005 that Sims rejected. That would have freed up tons of space at Seatac and would have helped reduce pollution since so many more people go from Everett/Seattle to Seatac then from our more Southern neighbors. And yes, I think Paine wants an airline as well, so that would be an option.

    1. not to mention that there are a couple of airlines that want to locate at Painfield in Everett (Alegiant, and one other)

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