Seattle Weekly.com has posted the article Will the New 520 Bridge Be a Work of Art? It details the benefits of Dubman and Wilkinson's sweeping redesign of the DOT's 6-lane 520 behemoth. The main benefits are that it's beautiful, it links 520 to a light-rail station planned for Husky Stadium, and that it transfers some of the neighborhood impacts to Husky Stadium and Madison Park.
The article says urbanites should find the interchange appealing:
"One look at the competing plans, and there's no contest. Base Six curls chubby tentacles around Montlake and spills out chunky swaths of concrete. The Pacific Interchange sends sleek lanes soaring upward in a streamlined flow...someone on the order of Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish engineer and architect known for his stunning and graceful white structures that match function with elegance. His bridges and buildings are airy and natural, evoking wings and vertebrae, ridges and shells, often bird-inspired forms. His work has been commissioned throughout the world, from Tenerife to Bilbao."
The problem? There's not enough money:
"Wilkinson and Dubman's plan is the most expensive option on the table at $4.4 billion...'Things are looking pretty good right now, except we still need $2 billion, which,' Dubman laughs, 'is a lot of money. But there's a lot of people interested in it.'"
Could we be in a situation similar to the failed (yet dreamy) vidauct 6-lane tunnel option? The prettiest solution is unrealistic and headed for the rocks?
For our money, we like the option that truly has the least negative impact on neighborhoods. That's the 4-lane rebuild. Check out the No Expansion of SR520 Citizens Coalition.