Snooze you lose. While the "Swiss Open Longest Land Tunnel" we are asleep

The Nation & World section of yesterday’s Orange County Register reported the opening of “the longest land tunnel” in Switzerland. “The 21 mile, $3.5 billion railroad link under the Alps will ease highway traffic.” So while they address their traffic congestion our transportation planners think small. No one disputes the need to find a solution for moving people and goods to and from Riverside County to Orange County. Unless we triple deck the 91 freeway we will not satisfy the mobilization thirst of the thousands moving into the new homes being built in the Inland Empire. And they are not the only people on the road. Many Orange County residents travel east to Las Vegas, Palm Springs and the river.

The Swiss tunnel under the Alps mountains, whose construction was paid for by their taxpayers, is twice the distance that was discussed with the proposed Tri Tunnel. Three years ago Adam Probolsky, President Probolsky Research, conducted a fairly close poll regarding the Tunnel in which 44.4 percent of those contacted agreed to support the “privately financed ” project while 49 percent opposed it.

If I am not mistaken the US DOT approved funding to conduct preliminary environmental review under a Presidential Order for streamlining said effort.

Bill Vardoulis’s concept includes “water, fibre optic and other utility links in addition to vehicles in three parallel tunnels.”
To me this concept has a lot of merit and should be strongly promoted.

Snooze you lose. In Mission Viejo we had a small project that I supported called “the expansion of our Norman P Murray Community and Senior Center” in which a multi member Task Force submitted a plan in 2001 that indicated a cost of around $2 million. We dragged our feet, and after “securing a $3 million Grant from CA Dept of Parks & Rec (Oct 2004) toward the $5.5 million estimated cost to complete the expansion” delayed action resulting in a cost increase to around $8.2 million for the construction and another million for design and bid documents (as April of this year). The latest total cost figures of the CIP are somewhere around $10 million a five fold increase when the CIP had citywide support and we had money in the bank. Sorry to digress. Just showing my displeasure with the majority of our Mission Viejo city council.
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My point is simple. Stop messing around with political maneuvering and seriously consider the private sector Tri Tunnel plan to help address our current and future traffic gridlock challenges.
What say you ?


About Larry Gilbert