Monday, October 26, 2009

Disaster simulation in the GPNW

The Washington State DOT has released a simulation of what would happen to the Alaskan Way Viaduct in downtown Seattle. For you non-natives of the GPNW, it's a double decker elevated highway built many moons ago. The developers hate it because it blocks potential views of the water from the condos they would like to build. I personally love the thing because the north bound views are just stunning. It carries 100,000 vehicles a day, on 6 lanes. The current proposal is to replace it with a tunnel, with 4 lanes. No one has explained where all of those cars will go during construction. That entire debate is what lead Jim and me to up and sell the West Seattle house. Without the viaduct, no one will leave West Seattle for years. If you play the video, pay attention to the text that says it simulates the 2001 earthquake; except for it's longer, the epicenter is closer to Seattle, and it's of greater magnitude. But other than that it's just like the other one that did not do all of that damage.

There is much debate on the local radio on whether they're trying to panic the populace into moving forward with the tunnel, despite its gargantuan price tag, decrease in carrying capacity and massive engineering hurdles.

Jim remains in the land of ice and snow (not really, it's just raining), while I continue to enjoy fall at its finest in the desert southwest. Those of you who are in the north may take heart in the news that the system that is currently plaguing the GPNW will arrive here tomorrow in the form of sustained winds of 30 mph gusting to 45, followed by possible rain in the valley and snow on Mount Lemmon.

Other than that, I have nothing to report other than frequent hikes, grocery shopping, laundry and the daily mundane tasks of life.

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