Seattle Waterfront History Interviews: Jared Smith, Office of the Waterfront

  • By Dominic Black
  • Posted 3/19/2023
  • Essay 22671
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Jared Smith was the Head of Transportation, Policy and Planning for the City of Seattle when the Nisqually earthquake hit in 2001. He worked for the city and as an independent consultant throughout the period when the Alaskan Way Viaduct was being monitored for ongoing damage, and replacements were being evaluated and debated. He returned to work at the city at the invitation of the newly elected mayor Ed Murray in 2014, as head of the newly formed Office of the Waterfront. In the following conversations with Dominic Black and Jennifer Ott of Historylink, Jared remembers visits to the Seattle waterfront with his father as a youngster; his personal experience of the 2001 earthquake; the history of the viaduct and how it relates to its structural deficiencies; the need to replace the disintegrating seawall in Seattle; and discussions about how to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and how to pay for it. This conversation was recorded in Seattle on July 27, 2022.

Waterfront Memories

Jared Smith: My earliest memories were going down to the waterfront with my father and we would meet for lunch at Lowell's or the Athenian. And then I have memories of going down in the early 1960s, mid 1960s and in those days, it was a working waterfront. Most of the piers were still active, fishing boats coming in and out. My dad had been in the Navy, so he had a particular interest and so he would somehow finagle his way onto these piers and we would actually get on some of the ships. They were sending things out. I remember even a ship loading, barbed wire being shipped to Vietnam during the Vietnam war. 

And so it was a working waterfront, kinda stinky, and it had the beginnings of some of the tourist elements, the Olde Curiosity Shoppe, and of course, the ferry terminal, and then eventually, the aquarium was built there. So it was in this transition and there were some folks that really thought that along with the civic work around the market, that taking the waterfront to a different place, in terms of it being more park-like, and removing the double decker monstrosity – which was something that was being addressed in other cities like Portland, San Francisco, the Embarcadero – and so there were some visionaries here that thought this is an opportunity for us to re-envision the waterfront.

The Nisqually Earthquake

JS: I had been, as a consultant, working on projects up and down the west coast, including some in the Bay Area. And I was working in a project in north of San Francisco when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit and … I had just been driving on the Cypress viaduct the week prior, going in and out of Oakland Airport, and was just on the phone just prior to when the earthquake hit with a fellow down in San Francisco. So that was definitely etched into my memory, which was just a year or so prior. 

And then fast forward, I was working for the mayor – then, it was Paul Schell and so I had transitioned from the Rice administration to the Schell administration – and the Mardi Gras riot had just occurred the day before, where a young man was killed.

And the then deputy mayor Chuck Clark and I were in the mayor's office discussing some issue around Sound Transit and the alternatives that were being considered, and we were just coming out of the mayor's office, saw in the mayor's conference room all of the news crews had shown up to have a press conference with the mayor, because there was a lot of controversy about how the city had handled their response to the Mardi Gras situation the night before. 

And so I passed by the conference room and got in the elevator with the deputy mayor, got off on the second floor where my office was and just then, the earthquake hit. And so as a civil engineer I thought about, "What would I do in the case of an earthquake?" And normally, you say, "Duck and cover." And I began to hear things snapping in the building, so I turn to Chuck Clark and I said, "We need to get out of here." So we ran down the stairs – all the things you're not supposed to do but I seriously thought that bad things were going to happen in the Municipal Building – and so we exited the building, ran out onto the side street, I believe it was Columbia, and the first thing I did was look down the street to see what was the situation with the viaduct, expecting that it might have collapsed. And around us were construction cranes waving in the air. You could actually see the street was literally like waves and we were actually knocked to our feet, standing on the sidewalk there. Fortunately, we saw the viaduct was still standing. 

So fast forward the next day: the new secretary of transportation, Doug MacDonald, who we had been trying to find a meeting time for him to meet the mayor as a fellow Sound Transit board member, and John Okamoto who used to be the head of [City of] Seattle engineering, was now the regional administrator for WSDOT, so we were quickly convened in the mayor's office. And they tasked, the secretary and the mayor, tasked John and myself with being the point people for the response to the earthquake in terms of the infrastructure that the city ran. And then, the viaduct was a shared responsibility between the city and the state, so obviously immediately it was shut down and we began a quick evaluation to see the extent of the damage, which was significant in the Pioneer Square area. It actually settled about nine inches on some of the piers there. So it was immediately taken out of service. 

We had to then come up with mitigation strategies of how we can move traffic and get people to and from downtown without the viaduct being in service. It was a number of months, as I recall, certainly weeks, if not months. What we had to do was strengthen the piers that had been compromised and then there was actually some jacking, I believe, that took place. So it had to have a full emergency inspection, emergency solutions put in place, but it was out of service for quite a while.

And that was the thing that prompted people to think, "Well, why wouldn't an alternative without the viaduct work since it seemed to work during that period of time?" And the point that we made in answering that question was that that was an emergency situation. A lot of extra transit resources were fielded, new routes to and from west Seattle, but that it likely was not a sustainable solution in the long term, but that's something that people harkened back to continually through the whole alternative development process, was, "Why, if it worked then wouldn't it work longer term?" And it was a good question. 

The Muddy History of the Viaduct

JS: It's an interesting structure and if you talk to Governor Dan Evans, he was actually one of the designers on it and so I began to get more familiar with how it was built and how the foundations worked and why it liquified.

So what's happened is the viaduct – the original shoreline of Seattle was more up towards Western Avenue and 1st Avenue. And so in the early days, the piers were built and then there are these timber trestles, and so what is now the viaduct area was, over time, filled in. So what they did was they eventually took the timber trestles out, there was a lot of railroad traffic that ran along there and they built a seawall and then they just came and end dumped a non-engineered fill behind the seawall. 

So you had the original shoreline which was quite muddy and then you had this fill that was dumped in behind the seawall when it was constructed, and what happens when you have an earthquake and you have that type of situation is what's called liquefaction. So it's like quicksand, when you shake quicksand – that's the term – it turns quick and it actually is like a jello-like substance.

And so what happened in the earthquake: it's founded on, in many cases, timber pilings. So concrete foundation buried in the ground with the bents or piers going up in the air. And then there's the lower deck of the viaduct, which was the southbound deck and then the northbound deck was the upper deck, and it's in an H structure. And so if you go down into the ground, those timbers weren't necessarily driven until bedrock. They were just sitting there and they were held there by friction. And so when that non-engineered fill began to shake, you had a number of areas where the piers settled, and it was amazing that it didn't settle in a more dramatic way where it would've been an issue of life and death. But in the Pioneer Square area, there were some particular piers where it settled dramatically and that was what was the real cause for concern, and then there were other areas. So they came through, did emergency repairs with the idea that it would probably need to be taken out of service within the next two to three years, post ... So we did an emergency, a very accelerated alternatives process that year, the year 2001, and by the fall of that year, had identified a preliminary preferred alternative, which was the original cut and cover tunnel.

The Seawall, Gribbles and Cut and Cover

JS: We knew that the seawall was compromised as well and that was the part that was the sleeping giant, was the seawall. If the seawall was to fail, then everything behind the seawall would fail and so that's what was holding back all of that non-engineered fill. So if the seawall failed in an earthquake, or even just because of its degradation over time – how it was built was with what are called timber relieving platforms and this was prior to treated timber – so as they were doing this work, prior to the earthquake to evaluate the situation, they realized that timber relieving platform had been eaten away by the gribbles, which are microscopic level, little bugs. And I remember they had done some excavation and brought out some of what were supposed to be timbers and you could literally crush them in your hand. So it was just rotten wood and then some were just disappeared.

Dominic Black: And this was prior to the earthquake?

JS: Prior to the earthquake. And that's why it was amazing that there wasn't more damage. 

Parts of the seawall did fail during that earthquake and had to be repaired. So the idea was that since you had to repair or replace the seawall, that if you could make that the exterior wall of a new tunnel, then you would get a twofer in terms of the benefit of construction. So as you're building, you would build the new exterior of the new seawall – that would become the exterior wall, the Western wall of the tunnel – and then you would basically build a concrete tunnel. And it's a very standard methodology that's used all over the world where you do cut and cover versus a bore d tunnel.

DB: So cut and cover, then, is basically, roughly speaking, you build a huge trench and then you put lid on it. Is that right?

JS: Yeah. You build a huge trench, and there were ideas of either having the roadways stacked on top of each other or doing them side by side, and then building back over a concrete deck. Very similar to…well, there's areas ... I'm trying to think of a local area, but you see it on 520, SR-520 and on I-90 where you have cut and cover tunnels and then building parks on top, both on Mercer Island and Sam Smith's Park in Seattle.

Alternative Solutions

JS: There were some alternatives to rebuild it, basically, as a elevated structure again, and there were different versions of that. Do it double deck, do it higher, but make them side by side, create more light underneath. And then there was one that was promoted by the, it turns out, the original designers, Gray and Twelker, who had been consultants for the DOT in the early 1950s. This is where Dan Evans, I believe, worked for Gray and Twelker as a young civil engineer designer. And so they came out, they were retired and they said, "Why don't you just retrofit the existing structure, do some foundation repairs, do some things to strengthen it and then keep it in place?" So that was one that gained a fair amount of notoriety. 

We actually, at the city and WSDOT convened a blue-ribbon urban panel to evaluate that and brought in local engineers who help evaluate that, and then they reported back to the group, including the original designers Gray and Twelker, and determined that that was not a viable solution. That it – you might buy some years, but you wouldn't end up with a viable repair for the long term.

So there were elevated options, there were cut and cover options. There was an option that was looked at where you would do portions of it that would be open trench. The idea there that you could minimize costs for the ventilation that's required if you have an extended length of tunnel where you have to do much more mechanical ventilation, fire, life safety. 

And … it reached a bit of an impasse because there was an acknowledgement that during the duration of construction, for the cut and cover, which was eventually identified as the preferred alternative, at least at a preliminary level, that there would be a lot of disruption to the working piers and especially tourism and the cruises and ferry dock access. And so there were options that were began to look at that would be independent of an cut and cover. There were some outlandish options that emerged, some of which were evaluated.

DB: What were they?

JS: There was one that came from a fellow that sent us a model that he had built in a swimming pool and the idea was to have floating piers with basically a suspension bridge, like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, but founded on floating piers which was ludicrous, but in those days, we at least did a cursory evaluation. There was another one of a suspension bridge founded in Elliot Bay that was high enough so that ferry boats and other ships could get underneath it. And again, just outlandish, but the idea is just get it away from the waterfront and free up the waterfront to be something different.

Politics, Debate and Delay

JS: One notable situation was where Mike McGinn ran for mayor mainly on the platform of stopping the viaduct construction and ...  

DB: The tunnel ...

JS: The tunnel, but just to underscore how political it was, he was much more ... he was a promoter of the surface transit option and as a way of actually proactively moving people out of automobiles, into cars and non-motorized modes. A lot of those ideas gained traction. The business community generally wanted to maintain capacity. There were many in the environmental and non-motorized advocacy community that saw it as a way of actually changing behavior of how people commute to Seattle and through Seattle, and saw it as a way of actually changing that behavior. And with the idea that you would save money on the actual infrastructure investment and then enhance transit service. The problem with that is that the state really, because of the passage of multiple Tim Eyman initiatives, the state had much less flexible funding to fund transit and they could only fund highways using gas tax, with the only exception being that gas tax could be used for ferry system. So that created a real impasse between the state and the city and the different advocacy groups.

DB: So it's interesting that I was wasn't aware and Jen just said she wasn't aware of that restriction on the funding available from the state. I don't remember that ever being part of the discussion publicly.

JS: Yeah, it was a discussion in the context of the governor and then the house and Senate transportation committees. They were still reeling from the passage of ... I think it was Initiative 695, wasn't it? That took away the ability to generate significant resources from motor vehicle excise tax and the reason I was very aware of that is that in the context of Sound Transit originally, when the regional transit authority was created, there was a working assumption that the federal government would pick up about a third - the local government would pick up a third – and then the state would pick up a third. And once these initiatives passed that flexible funding availability evaporated. And so that's why the ferry system to this day is still having real issues, is because they've been more reliant on gas tax, whereas historically, they were reliant on motor vehicle excise tax, as were many transit agencies.

So to this day it's still an ongoing issue. So that created – when it came down to the fundamentals of what the state is responsible for, it was probably twofold. One was their inability to have flexible funding, but also, their charge was to maintain the highway system and this is State Route Highway 99 with 120,000 vehicles a day, paralleling Interstate-5. And the idea we had seen, when the viaduct was taken out of service, that I-5 basically came to a crawl, and so you had all the parallel surface streets, Interstate-5. So in terms of their charge as a state to maintain capacity and possibly increase capacity of the highway system, that's why the alternatives were moving forward in the way that they were.


Cut and Cover, Bored Tunnel, Grinding Halt

DB: What were your feelings about the options that got narrowed down? So the replacement, the cut and cover and the deep bored tunnel?

JS: Yeah – just putting aside the fact that I was doing objective analysis work along with our team to evaluate, in an unbiased way, the alternatives – my preference was ... I still thought that the cut and cover tunnel was a way of doing things much more economically. I understood the disruption, but when all was said and done, the disruption lasted about as long as it was going to with the cut and cover tunnel just with the construction of the seawall. And I think people that were running the waterfront businesses underestimated that, and eventually, they were actually shut down and they were paid to remain shut, because it was determined that the cost of maintaining access to those businesses during construction was going to be more expensive than just helping to mitigate with mitigation payments for loss of business.

And so I continued to believe that that was a better solution. The other concern I had is that there was a twin bored tunnel solution that was evaluated that was using more traditional, boring technology which had been used successfully in the region. We have unique geology here where we have a lot of variable soil. You have large boulders, sometimes. It's what the glaciers left to us with our wonderful hills and Puget Sound, Lake Washington, what's underneath the ground is very variable. So the idea of a single board tunnel, 57 and a half feet in diameter, the largest one that has ever been used in the world and this would be where we would launch that, it seemed like a stretch to me in terms of boring technology.

And so I subscribed to the idea that a cut and cover tunnel was probably the most viable, but putting that aside for a variety of reasons, then a twin bored tunnel was what I thought was probably going to be more viable from a technology standpoint. As I recall, the deciding factor was that the duration of construction was theoretically going to be much shorter with a single bored tunnel, because typically with a bored tunnel you would run the boring machine through, you would retrieve it and then you would bring it back and then you would run it through a second time, whereas with a single board tunnel, you would do it all in one pass. 

So that was the decision that was eventually made. A design-build contractor team was selected and they took the design that we had developed up to about the 25% level and took it to the full 100% level, and worked with Hitachi Zosen in Japan to design and build the then largest boring machine, and it was launched and ran for about 900 feet, and then came to a grinding halt.

Why The Drilling Machine Got Stuck

JS: Well, if you ask the design-build [contractor] team, they still – I'm not sure if they're still in litigation, but they've done multiple appeals. They believe that it was the infamous pipe, that the pipe had somehow compromised the drilling machinery and had caused the seals to have a problem. It was very clear in all of the court proceedings, and even our initial look way back when, that it was probably a combination of an under-designed machine and possibly them driving it a bit too hard. When it was ultimately repaired, to me, that is really what tells you (what) the issue was, because they ultimately repaired it by reinforcing the bearings in a very significant way, revamping the seals to make them massively more redundant. And so once that machine was rebuilt and relaunched, it worked all the way through.

The idea that going through a six or eight inch diameter mild steel pipe would somehow compromise a machine like that just never made sense to me. And I had seen the actual pipe after it had come out of the boring machine and through the conveyor belt, and I remember standing there and multiple people with the DOT that were there with me, they said: "It looks like it was just chewed up like dental floss." And the analogy that I've used is: that machine is built to go through granite boulders, and if you take a hacksaw and you ... I'll give you a hacksaw and you go ahead and try to cut through a granite boulder and I'll take a hacksaw and I'll cut through the mild steel pipe, I will actually be able to do it on the mild steel pipe, and those cutterheads are made to grind granite. And so the idea that they're able to grind through granite and not handle a mild steel pipe always seemed ludicrous to me. So that's my long- winded answer is: it was an under-designed machine that was probably driven a bit too hard.

Fixing the Drilling Machine

JS: Well, the amazing thing is that it didn't come to a halt below a skyscraper downtown. If it had gone not that much further, it would've been under the old federal building, and if it had gone a little bit further it would've been under other buildings. And so the fact that it went about 900 feet and happened to grind to a halt in the one area where you could actually dig down without too much disruption – if you recall it happened just south of Coleman Dock, I believe – so they were basically able to cordon off the area, the viaduct could still stay in service, they had to do some strengthening in that area. They then had to do something unprecedented, which was to drill multiple concrete shafts in a huge circumference and basically make a cofferdam.

So if you look at what happened was: they drilled down – I forget how deep it was, but well over 200 feet – and they then filled those tubes with concrete and reinforcing steel bar, and each of those tubes became, you know, all in a circumference – I forget how many there were, but there might have been 36, maybe, maybe even more – that formed a huge well. And then what they did is they did what's called mucking out. So they then excavated out all of that material and then they had to drive the boring machine, which was just on the outside of that circumference, they had to drive that boring machine, hoping that it still had enough oomph to be able to grind through that wall – which is ironic that it did grind through the wall with all of that rebar. And again, how could that pipe have stopped it if, even in its failure mode it was able to grind through that concrete wall and then go into, basically, a retrieval well that was gigantic? It was well over 60 feet in diameter.

And so then they had to bring in one of the largest cranes in the world, because the front of that tunnel boring machine weighs tons and tons. I used to know the number, but I don't recall. And so then they had to very carefully drive it forward, let it rest in a concrete cradle and then basically dismantle the whole front of the machine, keeping in mind that that machine is longer than a football field. So the trailing gear and all of the apparatus behind was still in the tunnel that had already been made. So what they were focusing on was that first maybe 50, 60 feet of the machine.

So then they lifted the entire front cutter head and then flipped it on its side and then rested it off to the side and brought up other pieces: the main bearings, the seal, and they began to reconstruct it there in a large tent. They added literally tons of reinforcing steel, I have pictures and toured it a few times during the construction. It was just an amazing – basically setting up a re-manufacturing facility right there at the construction site in what normally would been done in a large warehouse where it came from in Japan.

Politics, Blame and the City 

JS: Meanwhile, they were still doing some work in the tunnel, but basically had to put a major pause on all their construction – and right away the fingers were pointing. Where I saw that was, the joint venture between Dragados and Tutor Perini were very concerned politically, that, were they going to be fired off the job? There were all kinds of things in terms of liquidated damages, delay penalties, they were very, very exposed. And so the hope was that they would really step up to the plate and wouldn't walk away from the project.

And so one of the things I did was reached out, and it was interesting because Tutor Perini did not want to talk to the mayor but Dragados did. And so we set up a time at the top of the Columbia Tower to have drinks with the executives from Dragados who had flown in from Spain, and myself, the mayor's chief of staff [00:48:00] and the mayor. And we had a discussion where they were offering assurances that as Dragados, who were the primary lead for the tunnel construction, that they were going to step up to the plate and that the mayor should not worry. Of course, in that initial conversation, I think this was before they realized the extent of the repairs that would be required, but they did step up to the plate, to their credit and it took a lot longer than ever anticipated.

DB: What's it like being in a meeting like that? You describe it as very…meeting for drinks and so on, but…who speaks first?

JS: Yeah, they were … they initiated … they wanted to have the conversation and they wanted to reassure the mayor, the governor, the city council. So they were asking, "Who should we be talking with?" And so we were just giving them advice, but we … keep in mind that the City of Seattle was not the client, it was the Washington State Department of Transportation. Obviously, we were tangentially – or more than tangentially – involved, but we were not their client. So we were making that clear that you can offer us assurances, but the people you really need to talk to are the head of the Department of Transportation and the governor and state legislators.

DB: At the same time, though, my impression from around that time was that there was more than enough political pressure to go around. There was pressure on the governor, there was pressure on the mayor's office because of ...

JS: Yeah. Yeah. So on a parallel track, we were having meetings that the governor convened in ... the state has a office in the Westin building and I remember one particular meeting where Governor Inslee was there, Mayor Murray, County Executive Dow Constantine, and Tay Yoshitani, the then director of the Port of Seattle, and then senior staff for each of those organizations – and meeting to just compare notes, talk about next steps. One of the things that we wanted to do as the city is not get into the different corners that you might normally, where there's people taking potshots at each other, realizing that it's a problem for everybody and if we start taking potshots at each other for political gain, it doesn't really serve anybody. And so one of the things that we as staff were trying to do, and what we saw the electeds trying to do is, let's solve the problem. We can focus later on issues and who's to blame.

We were seeing things at the City of Seattle like: as they dug the retrieving bore, they had to do what's called dewatering. So otherwise, as they're drilling down and mucking out, it would basically ... The Elliott Bay water level is higher than where they were excavating, so water was flowing in. So as they dewater and are just pumping huge amounts of water out and then treating it, it was causing, as you would predict, some settlement of the areas around, and you have old Pioneer Square. We were seeing ...

DB: I remember that.

JS: ... utilities starting to subside and there were some breakages. Some of the brick buildings were having foundation issues. So we had people in the community, building owners saying, "Who do I go to?" And then the state saying, "Well, that's a claim that is against the contractor." And we at the city were saying, "Look, these are people just trying to survive." And then we had our own utilities that were having issues and so there were lots of claims flying around, and that was just one example of the types of issues where even though the city was not responsible, we were responsible for our own underground infrastructure, and it was being compromised.

"It Was Very Stressful"

JS: It was very stressful. We had city council members – we would be going before the city council to give updates. We would then be asking the DOT representatives to come and help give those updates. We're trying to keep things as collaborative as possible and recognizing that this was really a contractor issue and they had the ultimate responsibility. They had their bonds, they had their insurance and so … we were working behind the scenes to talk to city council members, folks like Sally Bagshaw, who was ... there was a special committee formed by the city council to address the waterfront and construction related issues.

So regular meetings. Mayor Murray was relatively new and he saw this as a potential political liability because it doesn't matter who's responsible, if it happens on your watch bad things can happen, and so he was anxious. So I was a direct report to him in this capacity and so, there were anxious moments talking to him, to his deputies, to the then Seattle DOT director who I was working side by side. And then all of the downtown Seattle constituencies, the downtown Seattle Association and the Chamber of Commerce. And then again, people were saying, "Well, it's another opportunity to revisit the surface transit option." So there were all kinds of constituencies.

DB: Can I just follow up with this?

JS: Sure.

DB: I wasn't aware that you had resigned from this position, is that right? As the director?

JS: Yeah. I can ...

DB: Is that something you're comfortable talking about?

JS: Yeah, we can talk about it. Yeah. Well, when I left consulting to take on the role, it was with a view that this was an opportunity to realize what I had as a personal mission, which was to see Seattle's waterfront become something really grand. So I was leaving a regional position with a global engineering company to rejoin the city with the idea that this was going back into public service, true public service, and helping to manage a multi-discipline team that spanned all the city departments and then working in partnership with the state, the county, the Port of Seattle. So my motivation was to help realize that vision, finally. With the viaduct being replaced eventually on the horizon, the idea of it being demolished, and then what we could make that waterfront.

And what I had seen developed in those initial concepts by the city with their consultant, James Corner, was this amazing grand vision that was helping to realize something that I had been thinking about for most of my career. And so it was something very – kind of a career capper, potentially – moving towards eventual retirement. So what happened was, I had signed up thinking that I would be there for at least a year or two to help get the city better organized, get the concept developed, and then after that I thought maybe I'd go back to consulting or maybe I’d do something very different. So I got into it probably about halfway through that year and once we realized the extent of the repairs that were going to be required, realized that it was going to be at least a couple of years pause, and that much of the work that we were doing at the city would also have to be put on pause. 

So what I did was got together with our team and I said, "I want to help get this through the budgeting process in the fall and then I'd like to take a break." And I was already planning to do a trip later that year, 2014, to go spend some time in Nepal. And so I eventually told the mayor that my days were numbered and that I wanted to see it through and develop a succession plan and fortunately, had some excellent staff that were ready to step up to the plate: people like Marshall Foster, who stepped in in my stead and then Angie Brady, who was more leading the engineering side, so I felt it was in a good place.

And so I'd had discussions with some key city council members. We got into the fall, got our budget approved and the Office of the Waterfront was launched. And at that point I felt more comfortable in leaving, given that there was going to be a two year pause. So that's when I left and ironically, the next spring, after having an amazing time in Nepal, coming back and then working on some other projects and doing some traveling, an earthquake hit in Nepal. And so that ended up being my mission for the year 2015, was to help with earthquake restoration work in Nepal.

"It Was Cathartic"

JS: It was a tough year, it was one of the tougher years of my career, because there were so many questions and it was unclear whether this ... Once they came up with a repair, it was still unclear would it be successful or would that tunnel boring machine just stay there in the ground, and then what? And so there was that big cloud so I can tell you that, when we finally had the celebration when the viaduct opened and there were literally hundreds and hundreds of folks at the tunnel portal up at the north end, and then -

DB: You mean when the tunnel opened?

JS: Yeah. Sorry. When the tunnel opened, it was our last walk on the viaduct. It was a big party and it was cathartic for everybody involved. There were so many people that had wondered that same thing, "Will we ever literally see light at the end of the tunnel?" And there we were at the tunnel portal, all having a big celebration. And I have to say that there was just this great sense of teamwork given the situation very little – even though the press hyped it up and there were others that took political advantage of the situation – at the staff level, at the team level, and even at the elected leader level, those that had really stood the test of time, that was a huge sense of relief. And I think if you ask people, "Well, what was it like during those intervening two or three years?" There was a true sense of teamwork. Let's solve the problem. Let's not point fingers, let's solve the problem. And eventually, there was light at the end of the tunnel, the viaduct came down and it was a huge relief, and there was a great celebration.

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