McGinn weighs in on Bertha

Bertha in the launch pit (Courtesy: WSDOT)

SEATTLE -- Four years ago Mayor Mike McGinn rode to victory by opposing the $3 billion viaduct tunnel project.  At the time he said it was fraught with risk and any problems could easily balloon the cost.

Today, in an extended interview on Q13 FOX, McGinn reflected on his position.

“I was prepared, you know, to proceed with the tunnel agreements with the state if the state would agree to pay cost overruns,” he said.  “Well here we are, Bertha’s stuck, the state still doesn’t want to pay cost overruns.”  McGinn defended his handling of the tunnel project during his first 18 months in office, leading up to the Tunnel referendum that was approved in 2011.  “I was just trying to ask a question that mattered,” he said.

McGinn resisted any I-told-you-so reaction.  “Nobody likes that from anybody, including me,” he said.  “We have a situation we are facing right now where the public and all the elected officials, Ed Murray’s one of the chief proponents of this, said we’re going to go ahead despite the risks.”  McGinn hopes the problem can be resolved quickly.  “They gotta figure out how to get to the other end of this tunnel without going way over budget.”