Senate Approves Deep Bore Tunnel to Replace Viaduct

On a vote of 43-6 the Washington State Senate has passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5768 which identifies that the final design for the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be a deep bore hybrid tunnel. The bill expedites the environmental review and design processes to replace the viaduct and requires the tunnel to be located under First Avenue in Seattle.

AGC strongly supports the deep bore tunnel as the replacement for the aging viaduct and continues to work hard to get the full Legislature to approve this bill.

The tunnel replacement plan must include state funding not to exceed $2.4 billion and must also include $400 million in toll revenue. These funds must be used solely to build a replacement tunnel and to remove the existing viaduct structure. State funding may not be used for any utility relocation costs or for central seawall or waterfront promenade improvements. The City of Seattle must bear all city utility relocation costs associated with the state work on the viaduct replacement project.

WSDOT must conduct traffic and revenue study for a SR 99 deep bore tunnel for the purpose of determining the facilitys potential to generate toll revenue. The study results are due to the Governor and the Legislature by January 2010.

The measure now goes to the House for consideration where its future is less certain. For additional information please contact Rick Slunaker or Duke Schaub.