State Hopes For $880 Million For Rail

This article, published by The Daily Chronicle, mentions Discovery Institute Fellow Bruce Agnew: Bruce Agnew, policy director for the Cascadia Center, a Seattle-based transportation policy group, said if he had to predict the race for the cash, he’d put Washington and Oregon’s Pacific Northwest Corridor in the top five. The rest of the article can be found here.

Cascadia Rail Week Highlights Cross-Border & Interstate Ties

Cascadia Rail Week - including events in Portland May 27 and Seattle May 28 - heightened awareness of the need for improved intercity passenger and freight rail systems, and for longer-term efforts to establish high speed rail in our mega-region. Sharing key insights were representatives of state and city governments, the Federal Railway Administration, the U.S. Congress and Senate, and the Washington state legislature, plus think tanks, train manufacturers, railroads, and commuter rail advocates and experts. Rail week left no doubt there is a well-equipped coalition coming together to advance a crucial 21st Century rail agenda that builds on Northwest investments already made. Press coverage was considerable; in newspapers and on radio and television. Links are below. NEW: "Amtrak Cleared For 2nd Daily Train To Vancouver, B.C.," Seattle Times, 7/3/09 More TV clips, 5/27/09, Portland: KOIN 6 - 2 evening news segments; KATU 2 - evening segment; KGW 8 - noon segment U.S. Rep Earl Blumenauer video presentation, shown at 5/27 & 5/28 events "Light Rail Rolls, And Commuter Rail Percolates," Lance Dickie editorial column, Seattle Times, 6/12/09 "All Aboard! Oregon Eligible For High Speed Rail," Eugene Register-Guard, 6/4/09 "Biden: High Speed Rail Money On The Way," Seattle, 6/3/09 Full entry Read More ›

Seattle Tunnel Would Be The World’s Widest

The state legislature has approved a deep bored tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and Cascadia Center was instrumental in educating decision-makers. This recent article highlights our role.

.....As recently as last December, the bored tunnel was dismissed as too expensive by the viaduct project team. But then the Washington State Department of Transportation realized it could build a tunnel with a single bore instead of a double bore, and the cost estimate fell by almost $900 million. “It's less labor, less materials, one machine versus two,” said John White, viaduct program director for WSDOT.

...Last year two 51-foot diameter tunnels were built in Shanghai, China, according to a report by Arup that was commissioned by the Cascadia Center, which is part of the Discovery Institute. A forceful advocate for the bored tunnel, Cascadia paid Arup $35,000 for that report, according to Cascadia's policy director, Bruce Agnew. In early December, while the viaduct project team was eliminating the bored tunnel from its list of possibilities to replace the viaduct, Cascadia brought together a group of tunneling experts who wrote a letter to WSDOT saying its cost estimates for the bored tunnel were too high. The group wrote to WSDOT Deputy Secretary David Dye and said a bored tunnel could be “completed in the 60 months period with a price of $2 billion or less.” That letter was authored by Richard Prust of Arup, Vladimir Khazak of HNTB, Dick Robbins of the Robbins Co., independent consultant Kern Jacobson and Gerhard Sauer of the Sauer Corp.

(Full article)

More info.:

Cascadia's Bruce Agnew Discusses Tunnel Approval, & Cost Issues, KIRO-FM 97.3, Dave Ross Show, 4/28/09

Cascadia's Bruce Agnew Interviewed On Tunnel Decision, KOMO 1000 AM, Seattle, 4/23/09

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