To say we are living in troubled times is an understatement. It’s easy to look back on history and say you would have recognized the warning signs and acted differently. Time seems to have softened the severity of toxic nationalism since 1945, and we are so self-assured that if it happened again, we would be ready to face it. But it’s happening right now across the United States, in my neighborhood and yours.
The 66-year reign of the Alaskan Way Viaduct has officially come to an end. I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go because it was an ugly, inefficient and unstable piece of Seattle’s infrastructure. But like many other pieces of the city’s history, it creates a small void when it’s suddenly gone. I was one of the 30,000 people who came to say goodbye to the Viaduct and be one of the first to travel in the new replacement tunnel in the Tunnel to Viaduct 8K earlier this month.
Four years ago, I wrote a post about the ongoing saga of Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct and Big Bertha, the massive drill that would bore her way under our streets to make way for an expensive new tunnel that will be everything that was promised. It was predicted that the project would cost $4.25 billion, that digging would be completed by the fall of 2014, and that the underground roadways would be open in 2015. Oh, my sweet naive child. How very wrong we were. This is not the final verse of the Epic Poem of the Viaduct, merely the next one, continuing on into eternity.