Patrick Robinson
A model shows Burien architect Roger Patten's design for a bridge in Elliott Bay. Patten says his design would cost $1.8 billion less than the tunnel proposed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Elliott Bay bridge designer defends his proposal

"They told Eiffel to take down his tower after the fair because it was an eyesore.

"They said the same thing about the Golden Gate Bridge. Maybe we should take that down, too."

That's the way Burien architect Roger Patten responded to criticism from state Department of Transportation officials who rejected his proposal for an Elliott Bay Bridge to replace the viaduct.

The original story about his bridge is here.

In a 2006 memo, state transportation officials said Patten's bridge would block views of the bay. The memo said Patten's 800-foot bridge towers would be eight stories higher than the Columbia Tower, 200 feet higher than the Space Needle and 100 feet higher than the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Herald outlined Patten's design last week.

Patten's cable-stayed bridge would be an alternative to the planned deep bore tunnel and would arc out over Elliott Bay. He has a patent pending on his buoyancy-stabilized floating pier to hold the structure.

Patten claims his design would cost $2.4 billion, which is $1.8 billion less that the tunnel's estimated cost.

"My bridge is a win-win," Patten declared. "It is one block shorter than the Viaduct and drivers would get a view of the city from the bridge.

"The argument is so weak when in a tunnel you can't see through the walls."

Patten also rejected the 2006 state transportation department claims that Patten's "unprecedented design" included a more than 1/2 mile center span-longer than all but one suspension bridge in the country.

The Burien architect said the officials mistakenly calling his design a suspension bridge, similar to the Golden Gate Bridge.

His design is for a cable-stayed bridge and there are many spans longer than his planned design, Patten said.

He said transportation staffers never corrected the false information.

"I don't know if it was an error or an intentional error," Patten concluded.

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