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Old December 28th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #81
WaTransportation
 
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Thank you very much! This site has been helping me with a lot of information and how it would involve transportation. I first stumbled on this site at the new Huron Tower in Seattle. Impressive!!

The boring should take about a that time but add another month for maintenance and a year to lay the rail inside the tunnel along with installing the Overhead Contact System.

If there wasn't such an outcry regarding the cost, we'd probably already be at UW and making way towards Northgate and Federal Way but instead we'll have to opt for the slower method due to the issues that arose. Most, granted they were Sound Transit beginnings fault but since Joni took over it's (ST) has received 3 credit ratings, two of which happened a week a part from each other.

With Senator Patty Murray securing the funding for Ground Breaking and initial construction, the second TBM will be purchased shortly and delivered to start boring from the University of Washington in late 2008. The Beacon Hill TBM (Emerald Mole) should be finishing it's duties shortly (next week or three it should be popping out from my understanding) and also head for the UW site. ST can not start boring at the Pine Street tunnel site due to noise and getting the tunnel liners easily in and out without disrupting bus and light-rail traffic.

Testing along Mlk Way starts this Spring. Once full construction is completed, Mlk Way will go to 35mph until Henderson where it goes to 40mph. Light-Rail will be 45mph until Henderson and 50mph respectively along Mlk Way. From Boeing Access sans some curves, the rest of the route will be 55mph until the climb up to the Airport. Speed has not been set yet along that section from what I can see.

I'm not exactly sure as to what the deal is with the S 200th Street Station but I am going to say that is deferred until more funding can be attained.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 07:00 AM   #82
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I hope ST's next phase will have a more aggressive timeline. One of the drawbacks of the megaplan was that it was sooo effing slow to get built. I say build less at a faster pace rather than a lot of projects at a snail's pace. Salt Lake City voters overwhelmingly passed an increased tax measure that'll bring their light rail lines in by 2014 rather than 2025 or 2030 as originally planned.

Also, if you look at ST's website, they're doing all the final design *before* any construction starts. Other cities are saving time by beginning construction *while* final design is taking place, known as "design/build."

(My rant stemmed from a post in the blog below that mentioned that UW could've been built by 2011 if they'd only bought another tunnel-boring machine...)
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Old December 29th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #83
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I think we'd all like the idea of design-build. Look at the Everett I-5 HOV project; the WSDOT used design-build and it only took about 3 years (next year), even though there have been many delays.

However, design-build might not work well with the University Link in particular. Tunneling is still a very complicated task, and if we used design-build, we may get into problems that could extend the timeline and increase costs.

I'm a little confused by the thing kub86 said:

Quote:
(My rant stemmed from a post in the blog below that mentioned that UW could've been built by 2011 if they'd only bought another tunnel-boring machine...)
So are you saying (or whoever wrote the blog said) that with the three TBMs planned, that the University Link will be completed by 2011? I'm totally confused...
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:39 PM   #84
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My understanding now is that the boring will be finished in 2013 but the rest of the work will take the rest of the 4 years before the opening. If they had 4 tunnel boring machines, the boring would be finished in 2011 but because of the financial pinch, only 3 will be used.

Here are some night images of Link out and about.

ST 105 at the Operations and Maintenance Facility
image hosted on flickr


ST 102 coming off the elevated section towards Downtown Seattle
image hosted on flickr


They were nice enough to do this... ah the future is coming!
image hosted on flickr


Link going by Holgate Street
image hosted on flickr
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:44 PM   #85
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Those are some great shots!
Great color and blur.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 07:13 PM   #86
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Thanks! I have more posted here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_m...7603783848157/
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:56 PM   #87
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So, University Link is in a bit of trouble.

The state government has Senate Bill 6772 in committee right now. It would radically change Sound Transit's governance, make them responsible for regional road funding, and essentially take our transit money and dump it into highway expansion.

It would also make Sound Transit ineligible for their FTA FFGA - the $750 million federal grant for light rail.

Anybody other than me live in WA and want to fight this? I helped knock the same thing down last year:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...yndication=rss
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 10:03 PM   #88
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let's face it though, sound transit is gimped. they can only collect sales taxes and sub area equity is a serious hamper on building what's best for the region.

however, this is a horrible idea if it puts 750 million and future transit expansion at risk.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:03 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citruspastels View Post
let's face it though, sound transit is gimped. they can only collect sales taxes and sub area equity is a serious hamper on building what's best for the region.

however, this is a horrible idea if it puts 750 million and future transit expansion at risk.
Sound Transit is fine - unless you plan to amend state law to create an income tax, sales tax is all we've got. And they *can* put money from subareas in reserve - that's the whole point of the "merger", to steal the billion dollars they have in the bank for East Link and use it for roads.

When light rail opens, public support will increase quickly. Even Sounder is helping - it has over 10,000 daily riders now.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:06 PM   #90
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As I understand it, between $750 million at stake and Ed Murray against it, it seems even less likely this time around than before. UrbanBen, do you think it's more likely for some other reason?
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:11 PM   #91
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what do you mean put the money in reserve? i thought sub area equity meant that if you tax an area you have to spend that money in that area? thereby hampering the whole point of a regional agency which is to collect money from everybody to build projects that would best benefit everybody.

the state probably won't start taxing income, but they could at least allow sound transit to collect mvet, property tax, and gas tax.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:47 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
As I understand it, between $750 million at stake and Ed Murray against it, it seems even less likely this time around than before. UrbanBen, do you think it's more likely for some other reason?
I think it's important to let legislators know we oppose it - otherwise it's easier for them to change their minds next time. The point is to ensure that there's continued opposition.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:55 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citruspastels View Post
what do you mean put the money in reserve? i thought sub area equity meant that if you tax an area you have to spend that money in that area? thereby hampering the whole point of a regional agency which is to collect money from everybody to build projects that would best benefit everybody.

the state probably won't start taxing income, but they could at least allow sound transit to collect mvet, property tax, and gas tax.
Subarea equity doesn't say *when* you have to spend that money, just where. I believe that right now Sound Transit has nearly a billion dollars that they've gotten from the East King subarea - it's not enough to build East Link, so they haven't spent it yet (and if they only built partway, they'd lose any chance at federal grants). Subarea equity isn't a big enough problem to chance modifying the Sound Transit law and getting much worse changes.

The state used to allow Sound Transit to collect MVET. Statewide voters put a stop to that. We *could* have a constitutional amendment to allow regions to tax themselves, but I think that would be necessary first (but IANAL). Gas tax is protected by the state constitution already - you have to spend it on roads.

In terms of giving Sound Transit a better funding source, like property taxes - WAIT. Get Central Link in operation. Get the rest of the Sounder round trips in operation. Build public support - wait until Sounder goes to Lakewood and the people in the southern suburbs start asking for more. Also, let Sound Transit consider their own options before having the state meddle. They weren't able to do much transit oriented development the first time around - they had to build surface parking at Tukwila International, and if they hadn't been in dire financial straits, they might have been able to build TOD and make the station property generate revenue through retail.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 03:22 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
So, University Link is in a bit of trouble.

The state government has Senate Bill 6772 in committee right now. It would radically change Sound Transit's governance, make them responsible for regional road funding, and essentially take our transit money and dump it into highway expansion.

It would also make Sound Transit ineligible for their FTA FFGA - the $750 million federal grant for light rail.

Anybody other than me live in WA and want to fight this? I helped knock the same thing down last year:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...yndication=rss
GOD BLESS YOU!
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Old January 24th, 2008, 03:39 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taiwanesedrummer36 View Post
GOD BLESS YOU!
Haha, thanks. It does sound like this bill may die in committee, but calling your state senator might help, Mr. Snohomish County (IIRC).
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Old January 24th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
I hope ST's next phase will have a more aggressive timeline. One of the drawbacks of the megaplan was that it was sooo effing slow to get built. I say build less at a faster pace rather than a lot of projects at a snail's pace. Salt Lake City voters overwhelmingly passed an increased tax measure that'll bring their light rail lines in by 2014 rather than 2025 or 2030 as originally planned.

Also, if you look at ST's website, they're doing all the final design *before* any construction starts. Other cities are saving time by beginning construction *while* final design is taking place, known as "design/build."

(My rant stemmed from a post in the blog below that mentioned that UW could've been built by 2011 if they'd only bought another tunnel-boring machine...)

I agree with you entirely. Unfortunately, the political machine in Washington State (and particularly King County) is controlled by those who would prefer to take 50 years to build a project so that they have high-paying jobs for decades. Why should they hurry when everyone just accepts that transit projects always take 30 years to complete...the citizens should demand that transit that works be built sooner. I support rail projects but this attitude just pisses me off royally!
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Old January 24th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwhuskies View Post
I agree with you entirely. Unfortunately, the political machine in Washington State (and particularly King County) is controlled by those who would prefer to take 50 years to build a project so that they have high-paying jobs for decades. Why should they hurry when everyone just accepts that transit projects always take 30 years to complete...the citizens should demand that transit that works be built sooner. I support rail projects but this attitude just pisses me off royally!
That's ridiculous. If you understand this so well, give me ONE thing that ST could do to build light rail faster. Not some theoretical crap, what specific thing would you want done differently?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #98
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add another boring machine to the uw extention?

try a design/build process?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citruspastels View Post
add another boring machine to the uw extention?

try a design/build process?
Both of these won't speed anything up. University Link is limited by the FTA FFGA and by tax recovery. Adding another boring machine would cut a tiny amount of time from the tunneling process (which is, in itself, less than half of the total time from groundbreaking to opening, and less than a quarter of the time from project inception to opening), but adding that boring machine would cost so much more money that the start time would likely be delayed by more than it would save!

Everyone says design/build, design/build. We don't get federal grants without design done. Without federal grants, we collect taxes for another 5 years before we start.

Construction isn't the slow part. Getting the money and getting approval, then getting easements on everyone's property and waiting for all the business leases to expire, those are the slow parts. All that is basically the contractor anyway - Sound Transit can set a schedule, but if the contractor can't make it, they can't make it. This sounds a lot like trying to fix the federal budget by cutting HUD instead of the Army. Find the problems first, before suggesting 'solutions'.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #100
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"give me ONE thing that ST could do to build light rail faster."

How about build east link NOW? They may miss federal funds, but by the time we can start building costs will have probably gone up as much as the federal money. Delaying these projects are costing us a boatload, as I'm sure you know. If they don't have enough money as you say, then make some bonds to pay for it. Our federal government borrows trillions with no time line to pay it back to get things done, why can't we do something actually worthwhile with our fake money?
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