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Anti-tunnel campaign files petition seeking public vote
Posted by Matt Kreamer
-- from transportation reporter Mike Lindblom
The anti-tunnel Initiative 101 campaign Tuesday morning filed 27,500 petition signatures at the city clerk's office, seeking an election that might prohibit the use of city right-of-way for Highway 99 tunnel construction, said campaign chairwoman Elizabeth Campbell.
A total 20,629 valid signatures are needed to qualify for a possible vote.
The campaign had hoped to get a vote on the May ballot, but now it's more likely to be on a fall ballot. Campbell said King County elections officials have said they're likely too busy dealing with February elections to validate the signatures in time for May.
The state Department of Transportation signed a $1.4 billion contract Jan. 6 with Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), a consortium led by Dragados of Spain and Tutor-Perini of California to bore the 57.4-foot-diameter hole for the underground highway.
The council is scheduled to approve utility and land-use agreements with DOT next Monday, as design proceeds toward a possible August groundbreaking.
Mayor Mike McGinn, who has criticized the tunnel's potential for cost overruns and carbon pollution, said Tuesday morning he would veto the council's agreements, but acknowledged the council has the votes to override his veto.
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