27 percent know tunnel will replace viaduct, poll finds

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by JIM FORMAN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:30 AM

SEATTLE - It is going to cost more than $4 billion to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, so the Washington State Department of Transportation has spent even more money surveying taxpayers to get a sense if they're happy with how their money is being spent.
 
Of the 1,000 voters surveyed, 84 percent say they've been paying attention to the debate. Of that number, just 27 percent of those said they knew the fix is a bored tunnel.
 
Once respondents were told about the tunnel plan, 42 percent said they thought it is a good plan. Thirty-one percent thought it's a bad idea and 27 percent were still unsure.
 
Few places will be affected more than the Magnolia neighborhood, which some critics contend will be cut off by the tunnel plan. So, we went there to find out what people think -- not about whether there should be a tunnel or not, but how so many could seem so uninformed.

“I’m not surprised people could miss the tunnel part,” said Joan Harkins of Magnolia. “There's been so much talk about so many options it could get confusing.”
 
“Something has to be done,” said her husband, Jim "but I don't think really it is the time to be doing something like that because it is such a major expense.”

Later this month, we'll get a better look at the viaduct replacement plans when the city, state and feds release updated designs.

Read the entire survey here.

 

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