SEATTLE -- The mass destruction in Japan has made Seattle Mayor Mike Mcginn reconsider the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Monday in a radio interview with KUOW, he called for closing the viaduct by 2012.
"I think when you see what's going on in Japan and you see the potential loss of life and damage…maybe we need to go back to the original commitment to have it down by 2012,” McGinn said.
"It's amazing to hear the mayor say that," said Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen. "The viaduct carrys 110,000 vehicles a day. To shut the viaduct down now or in the last few months, it would be total gridlock.”
Rasmussen is the chair of the Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project. He agrees the viaduct is vulnerable to a major quake, but says a plan is already in place to shut the viaduct down in about six years when the tunnel is complete. Meanwhile, Rasmussen argues, the WSDOT is monitoring its condition and reinforcing the structure.
"There is no plan that [McGinn] is proposing to take its place. And I find that to be very irresponsible,” said Rasmussen.