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Articles by David Roberts

David Roberts was a staff writer for Grist. You can follow him on Twitter, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Here's the pit being dug to reach broken Bertha.

This post was originally published on Dec. 16, 2014, and is being republished now as part of our Seattle series. Unfortunately, the megaproject fustercluck hasn’t improved in the last six months — it’s only gotten worse.

Last week, I mentioned in passing that Seattle is in the midst of a full-spectrum transportation fustercluck. It has since come to my attention that some Grist readers are unfamiliar with the fustercluck in question, even though it recently made The New York Times and NPR.

This cries out for remedy. A tragicomic infrastructure own goal like this deserves wider exposure. Perhaps some lessons can be learned. Or you can just point and laugh.

“Ha ha, Seattle,” you can say. “What a fustercluck.”

We are currently at a crucial decision point in the story. There’s still time for Seattle leaders to change course, though it looks unlikely. But first, some history.

The epic tale begins with the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a two-tiered, elevated section of State Highway 99 that runs right through downtown along the city’s waterfront, providing a spectacular view of the skyline and ... Read more

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