This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
The numbers for the Viaduct:
Three possible replacement options disbursing viaduct traffic onto city streets would cost $800 million to $900 million, according to estimates from engineers. One elevated highway design, assuming one new streetcar line and new traffic-flow improvements on Interstate 5, would cost an estimated $1.6 billion. Another elevated design, including a park on top and office and retail spaces and pedestrian access points, is estimated at $2.2 billion.
This is one of those situations where the transit-friendly approach is also the least expensive in the short term. And when the state’s facing a $5B potential budget shortfall next year, cheap is good.
The new 520 bridge, however, is not going to be cheap:
Least expensive at $4.6 billion to $4.8 billion, Plan A features a second bascule bridge alternative, which removes the Lake Washington Boulevard ramps to south Montlake, the arboretum and Madison Park. It urges a public switch from single-occupancy vehicles to transit.
Plan K, or the Parkway Plan, would cost between $6.6 billion and $6.7 billion. It features a tunnel beneath the Montlake Cut and a bermed stretch of highway at Foster Island, lidded to restore arboretum connections. Madison Park, North Capitol Hill, Portage Bay, Roanoke, Montlake and Laurelhurst, as well as the boating, arboretum and bicycling communities, support the Parkway alternative.
Tolling will almost certainly help mitigate these costs, but it’s still going to be a whopper for the state budget.