In his Chamber of Commerce message to "set the record straight" on the proposed tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Chamber chair Tayloe Washburn today writes that "In opposing the Tunnel+Transit solution, a couple of candidates are getting their basic math wrong. The fact of the matter is, the tunnel portion of the project costs $1.9 billion, and state funding to the tune of $2.4 billion has already been allocated to cover it--that's codified in state law."
Here's some more record-straightening, the result of a recent phone conversation and e-mail exchange with Amy Arnis, the state DOT's assistant secretary and chief financial officer. She's an expert on the costs of the viaduct replacement tunnel.
: is $4.24 billion still the total estimated taxpayer's cost of the project - the amount being contributed from all public sources, city, state, county, US?
Amy Arnis: Yes, it is the estimated cost for the entire program of investments including the bored tunnel, the new south mile of the corridor near the stadiums, the north and south portals, investments in transit and city streets, seawall replacement, the new grade-separated street from Elliott and Western to the waterfront, and the new Alaskan Way boulevard.
SW: How much will it cost the state, alone, to finance that funding?
Arnis: $1.9 billion in interest.
SW: The final state taxpayer cost of the project is thus $6.14 billion - or $3 billion a tunnel mile - not counting any interest that Seattle taxpayers may additionally incur?
Arnis: Yes - also not counting the borrowing costs to support the $400 million in funding from tolls. Yes, the tunnel may include tolling...