SDOT blog:

Today, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced that she has instructed the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to restore travel across the Duwamish by repairing the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge. SDOT has nearly completed Phase I of this two-part repair process, as the stabilization work concludes in December. She also directed SDOT to continue early design work for an eventual replacement of the bridge.

“Fast, cheap, good: pick two” is the old project management saw and the city appears to have chosen “fast and cheap.” The bridge could be open just around the time (2022) a COVID-19 vaccine is widely distributed and “normal” commute patterns reassert themselves.

Neither Sound Transit nor the city seemed super keen on a joint car-rail bridge, which could have put the light rail schedule at risk. So the options came down to a 1-for-1 replacement or a repair.

Kicking the can down the road and waiting to see what happens in a post-COVID world makes some sense, but won’t come without a cost. A replacement would have been eligible for outside funding, while repairs will likely have to come out of the city’s general maintenance funds, which are already stretched, or via a car tab fee, taking money that used to be earmarked for transit.

36 Replies to “SDOT will repair the West Seattle Bridge”

  1. Not a Seattle resident, but I so disagree with this. Rather see a new bridge that is light rail ready so there’s one EIS, one construction period and one bridge.

  2. Good. That was the right choice.

    By the time the bridge needs repairing again (or replacing), West Seattle Link will be up and running, which means no buses will be going over the lower (or upper) bridge. That changes the dynamic, and we can have a longer question about whether it makes sense to keep the big bridge, or get by with an expanded (or additional) lower one. I would go with the latter, as we only need that kind of capacity during rush hour, and that is when a train makes sense.

    This would be a completely different issue if they went with BRT. But spending a fortune repairing a bridge that only carries cars is nuts.

  3. They should put tolls on the bridge. It is only fair. The tolls should be low, and would end as soon as the repairs are paid off (unless they want to save up money for a future repair/replacement).

    1. RossB and STB: yes, once repaired and opened, the high level bridge should have variable tolls similar to SR-520. Rates would vary by the level of demand and congestion; they might be very low at low demand times. However, the objective should not be to raise funds for a capital project as with the SR-520 project. Instead, the main objective should be demand management or to control congestion. The revenue could go toward maintenance, pavement management, and transit service; all are needed. Tolling could be permanent. Tolls would induce shifts of car trips to off-peak times or to transit. without tolling, congestion would return. The TBD has tolling in its authority. The West Seattle bridge is among the few limited access facilities controlled by SDOT. SR-520 variable tolling was successful: throughput increased, transit flow improved, transit ridership increased, and the capital funds were raised. The issues were related to traffic diversion to other corridors; systemwide tolling would be better. the West Seattle Bridge is isolated. Those paying would gain better flow and reliability. Per Jarrett Walker, the term could de-congestion pricing.

  4. A replacement would have been eligible for outside funding, while repairs will likely have to come out of the city’s general maintenance funds …

    That’s crazy. I’m not saying it isn’t true, I’m saying it is crazy. That is a federal law (or policy) that should be changed. It encourages wasteful spending, and discourages timely repairs.

    I’m also not sure the state role in this. I realize this isn’t a state highway, but it should be. The state should make it a highway, and then just pay for it with gas tax funds.

    1. No, no, NO!

      Do not divert state gas tax funds to what is a local project.

      Either toll it, or use another local funding mechanism.

      One that can be included in a ballot measure, so the public can understand clearly what the benefits are.

      Enough un-voted pavement projects.

      1. Oh come on. Please tell me what project is *not* a local project. The state funds roads and bridges all over the state. People in Spokane don’t use the roads in Puget Sound. People in Puget Sound don’t use the roads in Spokane.

        If you want to measure the value of the road, West Seattle comes out way ahead of just about anything. I can easily find projects that are clearly a worse value (the Gateway Project will cost billions, this will cost 50 million). It is hard to find a better value.

      2. It’s the primary road between a state highway (99) and a state ferry. And the ferries are legally defined as state highways.

      3. Stop being too easy on the ‘Highway Department’!

        If Transit MUST be Voted On,
        So should a Highway projects.

        If Transit MUST follow Sub-area Equity rules,
        So Should Highway Projects.

        If Transit MUST Pay for Itself,
        So Should Highway Projects.

        Before I was on that I-405 Citizens Comitee I just figured my rail advocacy was was driven by my railfan mentality that came from seeing how well it worked from growing up in the NY metropolitan area.

        After wading through all the numbers, talking with all the engineers and technical people for 3 years, and following the politics involved, I came away with a much stronger rail advocacy. For one reason:

        Road Building costs a Shit-Ton of money for the benefit of few people.
        No more projects taking tax money, including from non-automotive sources, to pay for extravagant bridges, $200,000,000/mile freeway lanes over Mercer Island, Deep Bore Tunnels etc.

        You make the political powers-that-be justify the highway ‘improvements’, and hold up the process and data points for scrutiny, just as our Transit projects are subjected to.

      4. Do not divert state gas tax funds…

        Either toll it, or use another local funding mechanism.

        Why would a toll be better than a gas tax? A gas tax discourages the consumption of gasoline. A toll does the opposite — a Prius or a Leaf driver pays the same as someone driving a Hummer.

        Whine all you want about how each and every project should be put to a vote — it ain’t gonna happen. That’s like complaining about the electoral college, or how the Senate is unfair (Why are there two Dakotas, anyway, but not a north and south California?). This is the world we live in.

        The state legislature can use the gas tax to pay for anything. They tend to use most of it to build roads, with a little set aside for transit and bike projects. They do all that without a public vote, which is the way most things are funded. It is a called a republic. Write your state representative if you want them to do something different.

        Another alternative is for the city to pay for it. There are a number of ways they can do this, but it takes money out of the city budget — money that could otherwise go to transit.

        The bridge is going to be repaired. You can complain all you want that it should be put to a vote, but it will be paid for. The only question is whether it will be paid for by the city, the state, or the federal government (or some combination of the three). I’m saying that if the state pays for it, the city can focus on transit. It also means that they would use an ideal tax for it — the gas tax.

      5. Gas tax is pigovian for the cost of consuming gasoline. Tolls are pigovian for the cost of congestion. Two distinct problems, so probably good policy to use both as revenue sources.

      6. It’s the primary road between a state highway (99) and a state ferry. And the ferries are legally defined as state highways.

        Then turn Fauntleroy Way and the West Seattle Bridge over to the state and let them run and maintain it if the bridge is that much of a regional asset. It should have been a state project and signed highway when the bridge was constructed in the 80s.

        While it’s true that the state ferries are all legally state highways, most ferries have signed state highways at both ends that connect to other state highways. The only ones that come to mind that don’t are the Vashon sides of both ferries and Colman Dock, though that may have historically connected to 99 pre-viaduct.

      7. Call me combative, but I’m seeing too much
        weak-ass transit support
        on this blog.

        What you saying is that you are happy with the status-quo, and would rather roll over and play dead than make a cogent argument for changing the public perception to a reality based one.

        If Transit must pay for itself, then let’s see how the driving public would respond if they had to pay for their demand of unfettered commutes, or trucking companies that want that same freedom to move goods.

        Privatize the major highways.
        And there are examples of pay for service highways. The NJ Turnpike is one.

        Travelers do choose the NJ Turnpike over other highways because they realize the benefits provided by the extra cost of tolls.

        You treat congestion as a commodity to be purchased and you will see how much the driving public values their time.

        Gas tax revenue should Never be used for congestion relief, period. I could use it for fixing the potholes and creating a better environment for mult-modal use on MY Local roads, Thank You. Not providing congestion relief for drive through vehicles.

        The gas tax, and mileage based taxes don’t limit where those monies are spent, they get spent ‘politically’.

        That’s why the big road projects are getting stalled, people are seeing just how big the numbers are for solving mobility with just pavement.

        It’s the job of transit supporters to shine that light on those costs… and you can do it just by showing the $ amounts, not just the ethereal environmental and societal cost.

        When I was on that Citizens Committee I remember the assumption that was made that it would be a roads solution when I’d watch Kemper Freeman, Janet Ray (AAA), the Washington Truckers Association, and others (seemingly smugly) make their arguments. They are amused when transit supporters argue the minutiae, rather than going after the big picture.

        If you like rearranging chairs,..

        I was the lone transit/rail supporter, and came to understand what goes into a cost/benefit analysis.

        That’s also where I saw that commuter rail on the ERC was an ideal solution, based on the cost balanced against the benefits.
        Derailed by NIMBY politics, as usual.

        Better transit results are there, if you change your aim.

        You do know that when the I-405 staff conducted a survey of those in the corridor, that the positive responses (70% and above) agreed with the statement “Do you think rail should be part of the solution?”

        The public actually does understand that benefit, especially when framed against the dollars needed for pavement.

      8. Privatize the major highways.

        Core infrastructure should not be controlled by for-profit corporations. Highways are a terrible use of time and space, but they are a necessity in our society, as it exists. The movement of people and goods should be free from private restrictions. I wouldn’t want my roadways privately owned anymore than I would want my water privately owned.

        Toll them so that they are self sustaining, yes, but do not privatize them, which would result in higher tolls and less maintenance than if they were publicly owned and tolled, because: shareholders. If a private company wants to build and own a highway to compete with public highways, they should be free to do so, but I can’t imagine many scenarios where that would be a profitable venture.

      9. It’s easy to overlook a basic fact: The reason that there is a high bridge is to meet Federal requirements of a high enough clearance to let ships pass underneath because the waterway access is required by Federal law. Even a low, wide bridge can’t be built quickly because a drawbridge design would be needed. Finally, there are numerous industries along the waterway south of the bridge that rely on having unobstructed waterway access and that contributes to the state and National economy.

        The State gets money from the Federal gasoline tax to maintain and occasionally expand the road system. There mere fact that the design objectives have to assume continued waterway use is justification enough for Federal and/or state funds.

      10. “The only ones that come to mind that don’t are the Vashon sides of both ferries and Colman Dock, though that may have historically connected to 99 pre-viaduct.”

        As far as I know, SR 519 still exists between Colman Dock and the I-5/I-90 interchange, though I don’t know what it’s exact routing is now that viaduct construction and the Atlantic Street/Edgar Martinez Dr overpass have changed the streets in the area. It’s never been well signed though, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sign for it on Alaskan Way.

    1. They will start next month — they won’t be done for a while. But essentially, yep. That is why you can’t get too concerned about initial reports.

      Even in software engineering (which is a “soft” form of engineering, not unlike custodial engineering) the same thing can happen. I remember working with old, crusty code, and being three days into the muck. I was freaking out. I told my boss that I probably wouldn’t make the deadline — we may have to pull the plug. I think he just ignored me. The next day I made a breakthrough and things went smoothly after that. Next thing you know, I finished the project before the deadline. My boss didn’t say anything about my earlier statements, probably because he had seen it before (and experienced it himself). It is good to warn people about impending doom, even if it doesn’t come to that.

      1. “Doom”. A great sound effect for the old Anglo-Saxon word’s definition of “Judgement.” Which even in those days, suggested you might get your day in Court.

        But it’s also the reason I think our form of Government, a democracy in the form of a republic, should start to root its public education in our trade schools. At sixty to a hundred feet per minute, liberal and conservative body-parts taste exactly the same to whatever machine can’t lie because it did it.

        In the control cab, when “Mighty Mole” discovered under Century Square how Spring Street got its name, the “Naming Rights” became not only irrelevant but unprintable.

        Problematically, the counter-measure of pumping fast-moving water past slow-moving water to change its direction, did dry out the ground so bad they had to wet it again. But nobody even got “written up.” Snitches don’t last long in quarters that close.

        The project also did “Cover Up” the whole event by simply working someplace else for a few hours, but are lie detectors really ESSENTIAL for good public supervision? So look:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2PY0wD7BqQ

        That climbing curve from Spokane and Delridge up to West Seattle Junction really will handle this radius, won’t it?

        My point here is that the ability of students to call up wisdom like this in the face of COVIDIA’s worst fit of temper renders these sad months a perfect lead-in to Schooling’s New Reality.

        So let’s take advantage of the fact that so many potential meeting-attendees are already both On-Zoom and also -Page in this direction. SHE’ll not only Get Over It but start to advocate it, which really should also SETTLE It.

        Mark Dublin

    2. Funding government through user fees rather than general fund tax subsidies is a central tenant of libertarianism.

      Let users pay for what they use. Libertarians believe this creates a more efficient and market oriented allocation of public expenditures and use fees, and places responsibility on the individual, say for example someone who contracts Type II diabetes from poor diet and lack of exercise. Libertarians absolutely disagree with something like taxing income, or sales, or any form of “wealth”.

      Libertarians absolutely believe those who use the roads should pay tolls and vehicle fees based on weight (including transit) to cover the costs of the roads, and transit users should pay fares that recover 100% of transit operating costs. If 100% is not recovered reduce transit until those routes that recover 100% through fares are left, which are the most efficient, or raise fares.

      If you don’t subscribe to such a bare bones approach, and believe taxes such as income taxes or sales taxes should be used to subsidize non-related uses, like transit or roads, then the only way to do that is political, and through the Democratic budgeting process, which for politicians comes down to voters.

      Since there are 111 million cars and around 274 million vehicles in the U.S. https://www.statista.com/statistics/192998/registered-passenger-cars-in-the-united-states-since-1975/#:~:text=This%20statistic%20represents%20the%20number%20of%20registered%20automobiles,U.S.%20U.S.%20automobile%20registrations%20from%201999%20to%202018 that is a lot of voters, which is handy since buses use roads and bridges too, but don’t pay for them.

      Plus there would be riots if grocery shelves were bare due to lack of timely deliveries. Just a tiny increase in the price of milk is a very dangerous situation for a politician, hence milk and farm subsidies. Here is a good site to see how critical truck freight is to nearly every segment of the economy. https://www.statista.com/topics/4912/trucking-industry-in-the-us/ (and rail is critical too, hence all the rights of way).

      If you want more transit, then funding initiatives, political pressure, levies, greater general tax subsidies, higher fares, are all ways to accomplish that goal. Right now the country is in a recession and so most subsidies are being cut back, although transit is still doing pretty well considering its very low fare recovery. I think in this region, including ST 1, 2 and 3, many citizens think we are spending a very high — if not disproportionate — amount on transit. I doubt ST wants to put ST 3 back on the ballot.

      It is often said demographics is the river in which all the tiny eddies we debate flow through. Right now we are an aging population. That is the river, transit funding an eddy.

      The great difference between federal budgets today and those in the 1950’s when the highways were built, along with so much U.S. infrastructure, is the costs of the elderly have consumed such a high percentage of the budgets, from Medicare, Social Security to Medicaid (nursing care/assisted care for the elderly), along with higher and higher FICA taxes.

      This is only going to increase, and we will likely see even more reductions in infrastructure spending as we fund the costs of ageing, and our dire infrastructure condition today is 30 years of neglect because the money was necessary to care for the increasing number of elderly, and the elderly are quite likely the most powerful lobby. Bismarck chose age 65 for his first social security tax in order to fund the war because 65 was an age at that time when most men were dead, so the tax was a ruse. Today Bismarck would choose age 90 to start Social Security and Medicare.

  5. If or when I ever get either hired or invested-in, I’ll certainly do everything I can to make MY clientele be spread comfortably State-wide.

    And at this particular point in time, who in Metaline Falls, would right now swear away THEIR right to either employment or clientele in West Seattle, if that’s what’s closest?

    For employment, enjoyment, commerce, romance, and education, the wider the service-area, the greater everybody’s Freedom of Choice.

    But for Seattle Transit Blog, I’d really like to see The Comments yield a long-overdue Floor to the voices possessed by hands that’ve held a hammer. And a shovel and a drill and the control handles of the likes of “Mighty Mole” and “Big Bertha.”

    Who will know next time to extract that piece of scrap-metal from the “face”, instead of trying to grind it up. And the computer-mouse on programs at the end of wires leading from their screens and keyboards.

    Maybe a Waterfront rail alignment was exactly what Project Chief Marshall Foster had in mind when he dealt with those utilities he mentioned to me. Since it’s unclear right now how much more Subway the Seattle CBD will really hold.

    And whatever delay fate has got in store, an unknown “Date Certain” could for certain be a blessing. “Mighty Mole” and his cousin Bertha are by now well into middle-age. A new generation of machinery, with men and women its own age at the controls, could see Rebuilding and Replacing as twin gigs.

    Mark Dublin

  6. ST article: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/mayor-durkan-wants-to-repair-not-replace-the-cracked-west-seattle-bridge/

    _She hopes to reopen the bridge in 2022, then collaborate with Sound Transit to design and build a multimodal crossing by the early 2030s that serves light rail, personal vehicles, freight and bicycles._

    The Spokane Street Bridge is enough of a shlep for most people. I can’t imagine riding up a structure as tall as the High Bridge.

    In any case, I’d be curious to know where a new multimodal bridge would go. I think a light rail bridge, which would be relatively narrow, would be a tight enough fit with the High Bridge, Low Bridge, and BNSF Bridge all in such close proximity.

    1. For no motorized traffic, I’m not seeing what exactly is wrong with the low bridge. We do need a safer route through SODO, but that’s a separate issue.

    2. If we are doing a repair, not a replacement, then what’s the point of a new multi-modal bridge? Without leveraging the car bridge ROW, there’s no value created in forcing the car and rail bridges to share infrastructure. This is nothing like the Tilikum Crossing. And if the rail bridge is going to be high enough avoid a drawbridge, it will make a horrible pedestrian bridge.

      “Collaborate with Sound Transit” is code for “see if I can get someone else to pay for my car bridge.”

      1. I’m not saying it will work, but I can only assume that the thinking goes something like this: We can repair the car bridge, but it will end up breaking down at roughly the same time as we build a new light rail bridge. So instead of building *both* a new light rail bridge and a new car bridge, we save money by combining the two. The repair buys us some time, and then, eventually, we build both, but for cheaper than if they were separate.

        That is a possibility, but I doubt it. Mainly I doubt it would save money. They are two bridges — I don’t see any savings by trying to combine them. (In contrast, I could easily see a savings with a combined tunnel — not that I think that is the way to go).

        And yes, the idea that pedestrians and bike riders are going to go way up in the air to access … uh … the industrial lands south of downtown Seattle is nuts. I think it would only appeal to those who are hard of hearing. You would have spectacular views, in an extremely noisy environment, reminiscent of the Victor Steinbrueck Park before they tore down the viaduct. It would be a terrible way to bike anywhere, and a terrible way to walk. The lower bridge is much, much better.

        To be clear, I think the mayor made the right choice. But her comments about a future bridge are either pure BS, or she simply doesn’t understand urbanism. I hope it is the former.

  7. Horrible decision.

    There is a corollary to the old, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” saying. The corollary is, “if you don’t know why it broke, don’t fix it!”

    Stated more simply, if you don’t understand why the underlying failure occurred, then you don’t know for sure that your repair will actually work. Committing to a repair now, before we completely understand the failure, is a high risk approach that could carry a very high price tag.

    Beyond that, ST needs to stay away from a multi-modal solution. At this point any joint infrastructure project with SDOT is worrisome. It just seems that Durkan is hoping to tap into ST’s revenue stream.

    1. Just out of curiosity — why do you think it is broke? I mean, I can see it, right there. It looks fine to me. Why do you think it is broke?

      That’s right, because an *engineer* told you.

      I’m pretty sure the *engineers* know why it broke. I’m also pretty sure those same *engineers* know how to fix it. I’m also pretty sure you don’t know much about *engineering*, even though you think you do. Trust the *engineers* — ignore the demagogues.

      I do agree with your last paragraph though. A joint infrastructure project probably won’t save any money. That is because there is no study — put forward by *engineers* — that suggests it will.

      1. To be fair, it is entirely possible to understand that a failure exists without understanding its cause. As a pretty dumb, admittedly, analogy, I will use an example from complexity theory. We can verify solutions to NP-hard problems in polynomial time (i.e. it is “easy” to verify that something solves them) but we do not yet know whether it is even possible to produce solutions in polynomial time (i.e. it is not “easy” to actually solve them).

        Now, is the bridge thing in that same situation? I bloody well hope not :) But I would be a little more careful in assuming that just because a problem is observed (e.g. by measuring rate of deterioration in the concrete, or counting the number of cracks and their rate of formation, etc.) we (as in the civil engineers working on the project) understand _why_ they happen and how they can be prevented. They might, but it is not a given, IMHO.

        I agree that it would be nice to see something more concrete (pardon the pun…) either way on this topic.

      2. To be fair, it is entirely possible to understand that a failure exists without understanding its cause.

        Or course. But the assumption that this is true in this case, or that it makes one solution better than the other doesn’t make sense. Let’s assume this is the case. Let’s assume that they don’t really understand *why* the bridge failed (despite reports that they do). Now assume that they make fixes, but because of this fundamental lack of understanding, the fixes don’t work that well, and the bridge needs to be replaced sooner rather than later. Fair enough.

        Except that could easily happen with a new bridge. If the old bridge failed because of some unknown problem, then the new one could fail for the exact same reason.

        It is just a bizarre argument, based on ignorance. This is not a whistle blower making this argument. This isn’t even an outside civil engineer saying they read all the reports and they have some serious concerns. This is just some dude on the internet making assumptions (that are probably incorrect) and then making illogical conclusions based on those assumptions.

        Professional engineers are paid to make these decisions. They use well tested science and their conclusions are verified by their peers. They make estimates as to the risks of failure, and when the failures are likely to occur. This is all in their reports. Second guessing the engineers without any evidence or expertise is irresponsible, and represents the worse tendencies in this internet era.

      3. I’m pretty sure the *engineers* know why it broke. I’m also pretty sure those same *engineers* know how to fix it. I’m also pretty sure you don’t know much about *engineering*, even though you think you do. Trust the *engineers* — ignore the demagogues.

        Having followed the WSB fiasco from day 1 and having an engineering background (doesn’t make me an expert, but I can understand reports and studies), I have no doubt that SDOT can fix it.

        What sticks out to me is the expected life span of the repairs, which seem optimistic. Also, the expected opening date seems cautiously optimistic.

        Putting on my tinfoil hat, I’d like to point out that the expected opening date of 2022 is conveniently just after the next mayoral election.

      4. We have the same problem with armchair transit pseudo-engineers, pseudo-planners, and pseudo-accountants contradicting agencies’ facts and judgments, making assertions without evidence.

        When, for instance, I say frequency is king and criticize ST/Metro/Seattle for not prioritizing it highly enough, I’m basing it on my opinion and experience as a passenger and observer of transit (the evidence is myself), and on what I’ve read by experts (Walker/Shoup/et al). But I don’t go questioning the agencies’ judgments on soil risks, engineering risks, cost risks, etc, because I’m not an expert in those areas and have no substantial evidence to oppose them with.

        Some others have been bus drivers, or have studied or worked in civil engineering, accounting, or law, or have even done these within the transit industry. So if they say the agency’s judgment is wrong or is only 50% likely, I might accept it, or at least take it as a substantial factor. I’d trust more somebody who has experience in the transit industry or has apparently studied the particular plan/situation sufficiently.

        But when somebody with no known expertise in that area just asserts that the agency is wrong in these things, I ask, “Where’s the evidence?” or “What’s your credentials or experience to assert this?” Maybe they have those but don’t want to reveal where they work in a public forum; that’s understandable. But often it appears they’re just blowing hot ideological air.

        A bigger problem comes in if others, especially new readers or people not very familiar with transit issues, take this hot air as fact. (“If you repeat a lie often enough people believe it.”)

      5. I’m basing that off the fact that they haven’t mobilized for construction, let alone even reached the final design milestone, in fact, SDOT is still performing inspection that have a bearing on final design. They’re going to be repairing a bridge on the verge on collapse, over a navigable waterway. Add to that the NTSB and all levels of DOT are going to be breathing down the contractor’s neck at every turn. So far, the damaged West Seattle Bridge has caused zero deaths; a future collapse would result in criminal trials and everyone involved in this is well aware.

        With all that, they are estimating an opening of August 2022, with talk of an earlier opening possible. SDOT isn’t exactly known for delivering capital projects on time. So you can see why I’m skeptical, not just a “hunch”. If SDOT can deliver this on time, it will be very impressive to say the least.

    2. What if, unless they’re Multi-Modal, your actions also don’t Solve Anything? A wrenches-only tool-kit doesn’t even work for nuts. Including complainants who act like them. Sooner or later, you’ll need a hammer, even if you have to settle for a screwdriver if you didn’t pack a chisel.

      Chicago had some really awesome transit, including a hundred mile an hour streetcar with white table-cloths and real coffee. Price-tag? Concerning the Dead who did not include Jerry Garcia, on every Election Day, every tombstone resurrected one more voter.

      Here, while our Electeds might get by with fewer consultants for college room-mates, if they brag about it at least they don’t sit there waving a cigar while everybody laughs. We had a freeway crack? We’d best recall that our bedrock also did, a long long time ago and counting. And still also shaking.

      What became Sound Transit also, in the face of two idiotic anti-rail votes, one of which passed but not by enough, started a regional railroad with a Tunnel full of un-heard-of buses, which ten years later also worked alongside trains.

      The right-of-way SF and Portland got for free, we figured out just how to do without. But least Doom-Delivering of all? There’s nothing in ST we cannot fix. Including its existence, which on paper is set nowhere into Stone. What you want done right?

      The papers for the office that you run for, the law says plainly that you have to sign them.

      Mark Dublin

  8. And “Tangential” if not strictly “Topical”, this discussion needs to note that DBT can certainly carry RAIL. “Lack of Downtown Stations” has a forthright solution:

    Dig one into the cliff that also contains Pike Place Market and its whole surrounding hillside. I really think that Streetcar-founder Councilman George Benson always intended for the Waterfront to become self-supporting, instead of a charity-case with a view.

    Remember again that we’ll be using the excavators of the 2020’s, not the ones that are already Deep-Bore Dated. Recalling and believing what the Sacramento motorman told me, if it’s footed for a freeway, it’s a railroad any time we say it is.

    And Aurora North will finally get the “Love” that romantic participants who are also finally earning a decent Living will finally be free to direct to anybody “Decent” of their choice. Good transit doesn’t take advantage of anything or anybody.

    What it does for the Common Good is to make it Possible.

    Mark Dublin

  9. I want to understand the difference between FTA State of Good Repair funds utilized by KCM for Capital improvement projects, and why the FTA/DOT wouldn’t have a similar type of funding for an elevated causeway over a superfund site, that conveys BRT(RapidRide C-line). I understand it’s not a State Highway, but it just seems…wrong? that all of these federally funded projects would increase their costs due to the obsolescence of a local municipal asset.

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