Seattle Mayor McGinn’s Seawall Proposal

Landscape architect Paul Byron Crane weighed in today with an Op Ed at CrossCut about why decoupling the Seattle seawall restoration project and the new viaduct tunnel is a good idea.  The seawall restoration has been part of the deep bore tunnel proposal that is moving forward and, until recently, was opposed by Mayor Mike McGinn (he campaigned on his opposition).  Now,  McGinn has proposed a $241 million property tax levy to go on the ballot in May that will require a 60% approval vote to go forward.  What Crane points out is that pretty much every major development in and around Seattle uncovers Duwamish or other tribal remains and cultural property.  Thus, the tunnel project will probably take years and years because of archeological and historic preservation laws, not to mention cultural respect once the Duwamish Nation’s property and ancestors have been uncovered and disturbed.  Crane thinks there is less of a chance that the seawall project will be delayed by the discovery of Duwamish remains, so he says go ahead with the seawall separately and get it fixed.   We’re not sure that there is less of a chance of the seawall project uncovering Duwamish village and cultural remains.  But, it’s a question that the Mayor and the Council need to think about.

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