A brief timeline on Governor Gregoire’s promises on viaduct related issues:
1/3/2008: Gregoire promises a 2012 teardown, for safety reasons:
“It’s coming down in 2012. I’m taking it down — the middle,”…
“That’s the timeline. I’m not going to fudge on it. And if we don’t have some alternative by then, boy are we going to have a mess on our hands because it’s coming down.”
Asked if she, as governor, could trump the state’s largest city and county and unilaterally tear down a highway that carries more than 100,000 vehicles a day through the heart of Seattle, Gregoire said:
“Yeah, watch me.”
The viaduct is now to be torn down by 2016, because safety risks pale compared to the horror of having only one freeway through downtown for four years.
1/13/2009: In a press conference with Mayor Nickels and Executive Sims, Gregoire announces her support for the deep-bore tunnel plan, which includes new state-granted authority for a 1% MVET, bringing in $190m in capital funds and $15m per year for Metro.
2/2/2009: Gregoire backs away from the MVET part of the deal at the first sign of trouble in the legislature:
Legislative leaders in the state House and Senate say the proposed 1 percent motor-vehicle excise tax, or $100 yearly on a $10,000 car, would have a hard time making it through the Legislature this year.
“To the Legislature I say, separate it out from the tunnel because it doesn’t have anything to do with the tunnel,” Gregoire said at a news conference.
5/19/2009: Gregoire goes out of her way to specifically veto a legislative provision allowing Metro to levy a $20 vehicle license fee, aimed at preventing cuts to service rather than expanding it.
6/3/2010: The Governor signs a “letter of commitment” saying “We fully endorse this partnership and are each personally committed to invest the time and resources needed to ensure this program reaches a successful conclusion.” Still no detail on who would pay for the overruns.
Mike McGinn, apparently disinclined to make empty promises, refuses to sign.