(This post is part of a series.)

Headline from the Seattle TimesRemove the viaduct even if state can’t rebuild it?

Apparently, Seattle city officials are increasingly willing to say that, if the state’s gas tax hike is repealed this November (as looks increasingly likely), the Alaskan Way Viaduct along Seattle’s downtown waterfront should simply be torn down.  The existing structure poses a safety hazard, and without the $2 billion provided by the state gas tax, there’s simply no money to replace the Viaduct with a tunnel, which is the city’s preference.  (Of course, even with the gas tax there may be no money for the tunnel; but that’s an issue for another day.)

Of course, the word from the mayor’s office probably isn’t final; proponents of the Viaduct will no doubt try to resurrect the rebuilding project even if the state’s funding dries up.  But if this this certainly raises the stakes for November’s statewide vote on the gas tax—more and more, it looks like the gas tax vote will wind up being, in effect, an up-or-down referendum on rebuilding the viaduct.