The repercussions of Boston's Big Dig are reaching all the way across the country. From the Boston Globe: "No Big Dig copycats"
If all had gone as planned, the mayor of Seattle would don a hard hat next year and break ground on a multibillion-dollar project to replace the city's downtown overpass with a tunnel.So tunnels are out and elevated highways are an eyesore. What can major cities do to relieve congestion? As it turns out, nothing.
But in a post-Big Dig world, that vision has popped like a $15 billion balloon.
In a ballot initiative last March, Seattle voters weighed in on a waterfront tunnel project, smaller in scope than the Big Dig, but similar in goals. In the run-up to the vote, the words big and dig became political shorthand for bloat and delay, with shoddiness thrown in for good measure.
Seventy percent of Seattle voters said no, thanks.
On the same ballot, they also rejected a replacement overpass.Sounds like a plan.
Instead, Seattle, like a growing number of cities around the country, is looking at taking down its elevated highway structure and replacing it with - nothing. The idea is to slow traffic in the city on ground-level streets, reclaim the waterfront, and let drivers who want to bypass downtown use another route.