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Old 12-22-2014, 01:06 PM
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Seattle's Unbelievable Transportation . .

Seattle’s unbelievable transportation megaproject*fustercluck | Grist


There are two problems with the viaduct.

One, it was a stupid idea in the first place, one of the many stupid decisions made during the highway-building frenzy of the ’50s. It went wildly over budget, didn’t solve any of the traffic problems it was supposed to solve, and worst of all, cut Seattle off from its gorgeous waterfront. To get from the downtown core to the adjacent waterfront, pedestrians have to walk through a gloomy, shaded area beneath the highway, which, because it’s gloomy and shaded, has been given over to parking lots, a waste of precious urban land. This has left the waterfront isolated, a tourist destination rather than an integrated part of city life.

Second, the highway is on the verge of falling down. In 2001, the Nisqually earthquake damaged it, leading to $14.5 million in emergency repairs. Since then, the viaduct has been “settling,” i.e., sinking and cracking. In 2007, a group of researchers from the University of Washington concluded that, for safety reasons, the viaduct needed to be shut down within four years. “It’s coming down in 2012. I’m taking it down,” then-Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) said. “That’s the timeline. I’m not going to fudge on it.”

Spoiler alert: It’s still up.

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Old 12-22-2014, 01:26 PM
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Fustercluck, indeed! Holy shnikies!

Everything that could go wrong certainly seems to have. And Bertha (which looks like a Lego creation) seems to be the icing on the cake. No reverse? Really???

While on a far smaller and less grandiose scale, Hartford was cut-off from the Connecticut River when I-91 was built. There have been attempts to connect it via walkways and walking plazas over the highway but it's not the same as having restaurants, bars and shops right on the waterfront. There has been talk of removing the viaducts and rerouting the highway. The where to and how much are rarely mentioned, though.

I suppose at least we only need to worry about the neglect and gradual deterioration rather than an earthquake-enhanced level of unsafety.

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Old 12-22-2014, 03:25 PM
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Aren't they doing some underground work there now and a drill hit a solid obstacle underneath the surface?

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Old 12-22-2014, 06:27 PM
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Its like the big dig.

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