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January 12, 2009 5:28 PM

The tunnel of 2009

Posted by Joni Balter

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels comes bounding out of the doldrums and deserved criticism of the city's weak response to the snowstorms with a solution to the Alaskan Way Viaduct that has to make the mayor smile.
Nickels and King County executive Ron Sims, led by Gov. Christine Gregoire, will hold a kumbaya press conference Tuesday morning where they all agree to a deep-bore tunnel to replace the viaduct, with surface, transit and pedestrian improvements along the waterfront.
Nickels can't help but say told you so about the tunnel. It's a long story about how all this came to pass; It is a different and supposedly less expensive tunnel that will be built by 2015. (Nickels had wanted a cut and cover tunnel.)
But it's a tunnel and that's what Nickels advocated all along..
It's a decent political day for the mayor.

Nickels has no official opponent yet for the 2009 mayor's race. I met tonight with former Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck to see if he was interested and came away convinced he is thinking about it but not at all certain he wants to do it right now.
"I'm not there,'' said Steinbrueck, also saying, he hasn't closed the door on running.
In other words, he is in no hurry to make a decision. One issue he was most passionate about, the viaduct, has been resolved to his satisfaction.

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