Excerpt from Seattle.Gov:
After an open and transparent central waterfront process, Mayor Greg Nickels, Governor Gregoire and King County Executive Sims announced their recommendation that a bored tunnel, along with improvements to transit, city surface streets and the city’s waterfront, replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct along the central waterfront.
The central waterfront process was based on the State of Washington, King County, and the City of Seattle working together to find a solution for the central waterfront section of the viaduct. It included feedback from the Alaskan Way Stakeholder Advisory Committee, public meetings, feedback from various interest groups and nearly 1000 public comments.
To learn more about the central waterfront process, please review our step-by-step guide.
Excerpt from Wikipedia:
On Jan 12, 2009, the state of Washington, King County, the city of Seattle, and the Port of Seattle revealed that they had agreed to replace the viaduct with a four-lane, 2-mile (3.2 km) long underground tunnel.The tunnel would have a south portal in SoDo, near Qwest Field, and a north portal near Thomas Street, north of the Battery Street Tunnel.
The project is estimated to cost $4.25 billion, with the state, city, and county promising funding well short of the estimate.The state will fund boring of the tunnels, while the city and county will fund surface street improvements and repairs to the Alaskan Way Seawall, which itself was damaged in the Nisqually earthquake. There is at present no publicly-known timetable for the construction and opening of the tunnel. Construction of the tunnel is scheduled to begin in early 2011 and end in late 2015, with the potential length of the project being 6 years.
The announcement did little to quell the long and heated debate over the viaduct’s replacement, with several factions expressing their criticism over the tunnel decision.