Optimists always like to look for the positive, even in the most dire of situations. Even so, you almost hate to talk about silver linings with regard to the slow economy that has hurt so many individuals, families and businesses. But the lower-than-expected bid that came in yesterday for replacing a section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct just might fall into that category. The Seattle Times reports that all of the bids to replace the Sodo section of Viaduct “were below the state engineers’ estimate of $153 million, a reflection of the recession making construction companies hungry for business.”
“….We have the benefit of being in one of the most favorable environments for affordable, low-cost construction bids and we need to take advantage of them now,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “The fact that today’s bids for the south mile of the project came in millions below our estimates is proof of that.”
The project manager for the Viaduct told the Seattle Times that this “could be a sign the bid for a proposed tunnel under the central waterfront also could come in under estimates.” And Washington State officials say “about 600 construction jobs” will be created by the Sodo project.
Jobs. Cost-savings. Important infrastructure work being done. Maybe, despite the surrounding economic gloom, it’s okay to find the silver lining.