Recharge the Battery is a community driven initiative working to promote conservation opportunities surrounding the Battery Street Tunnel (BST). Through various public engagement programs and community outreach efforts we are working to elevate general interest in the past, present, and future possibilities for this under-appreciated infrastructural icon.
Recharge the Battery is working to demonstrate persuasive community support to advocate for the exploration of alternative solutions for Battery Street and the Battery Street Tunnel. We are currently requesting that officials consider alternative decommissioning strategies that will allow for removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the opening of the deep bore tunnel to proceed without delay, but suspend plans to decommission the BST to allow for a public visioning process regarding its future.
Current: Kill the Fill (2017-2018)
Advocate by hosting public events to share possibilities for the Battery Street Tunnel.
Conserve by signing a petition of public support to acknowledge the landfill is irrational.
Reimagine the Viaduct demolition and BST decommissioning as separate projects.
Recharge through public consensus, without delay to existing construction schedules.
Interim: Explore Alternatives (2019-2020)
- Coordinate with the appropriate governmental agencies to secure and mothball the BST.
- Prioritize public benefits focused on open space, water conservation, pedestrian access.
- Explore socially beneficial solutions that are non-tax funding and revenue-generating.
Secure funding for Research and Development of permanent reuse solutions for the BST.
Future: Recharge the Battery (2020-Beyond)
- Refine the selection process for a new public vision for the Battery Street Tunnel.
- Develop a process to translate preferred public visions into an implementable solution.
- Implement the process to procure permits, secure funds, and finalize plans for the BST.
- Finalize the collective realization of the Recharge the Battery Initiative!
The Battery Street Tunnel was completed in 1952 and has serviced the City of Seattle for over 65 years as the primary connector between the iconic Alaskan Way Viaduct and Aurora Avenue North. But, after years of debate (following the Nisqually quake), regarding the replacement of the Viaduct and years of wondering if Bertha would ever make it to the finish line, the Viaduct Replacement Tunnel is complete and the current plans are calling for the Battery Street Tunnel to be closed and filled with material from the demolished Alaskan Way Viaduct, beginning in 2019.
Which led us to ask one very simple yet critical and overlooked question:
Why were we not working together to consider alternative solutions for the Battery Street Tunnel to better serve the City of Seattle for the next 65 years?
The fact remains that the future of the Battery Street Tunnel may still be open to consideration and with the support of local Seattle residents, Recharge the Battery will continue to demonstrate persuasive public interest and unified community support to explore alternative solutions for the Battery Street Tunnel to better serve the public interests of Seattle residents and the surrounding Belltown community.
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