Access, freight hot topics at tunnel town hall

A good crowd attended the tunnel town hall at Ballard High School tonight.

Representatives from WSDOT, SDOT and other agencies took questions from the crowd about plans to replace the Viaduct with a deep-bored tunnel.

Some in the audience, as you might imagine, were not in favor of the tunnel. Hot topics included access to Ballard, freight transportation routes and how we’re going to pay for it all. Organizers provided a number of maps, including how Northwest neighborhoods will access the tunnel (map), how we’ll drive to downtown (map) and how truckers will drive to and from Ballard (map). Travel times will only increase by a few minutes, SDOT’s Bob Powers said.

To give you an idea of the complexity of the project, one person in the audience questioned the panel on whether her trucks would be able to make the 90-degree turns to access the tunnel. Another asked about the signal timing and pedestrian walkways along Alaskan Way, because “trucks are different than cars” in their ability to start and stop quickly. Officials insisted many of the details are not yet set in stone, and more community meetings will be held in the weeks to come.

Plus: See more on the meeting from

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

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