One last option... why don't we give up on the current SEA configuration and build a new terminal down the middle where 16C and T presently are... Once the terminal is built you could destroy the existing terminal along International BLVD and build a new runway. You would then have two approach streams in all WX and one dedicated departure runway...
Totally agree. This is the most logical reconfiguration of SEA, and it's been absolutely frustrating to watch them rebuild the central runway, and now spend billions on terminal expansions in their current locations. They should have had a long term plan to shift to this very configuration.
If the plan for a new "Greater Seattle Airport" included the option of fully replacing SEA (e.g. like Denver). Then I actually would support investigating three new locations for an airport that would involve purchasing all the existing neighborhoods, but which would still be in the Tacoma to Seattle corridor. Thus they could still pick up spurs or diversions from the main heavy railway corridor, and thus their catchment could effectively span the whole Olympia to Seattle corridor once that railway is upgraded and electrified (and Portland and beyond once it extends that far south, Mt Vernon and beyond once it expands that far north). That is, it would be a natural stop along the spine of future high speed rail right up and down the cascades.
These locations are drawn very crudely on the map below. Yellow is the existing railway corridors, dashed yellow loops or spurs off those that could tunnel under the respective plateaus to serve stops in the heart of the airport terminals. These areas are actually quite sparse still in terms of the number of homes affected, but of course it wouldn't be without opposition. SEA itself would be demolished and reclaimed for housing/etc.
I'm a little confused by the diagram, but each of the areas you highlighted are indeed hundreds of fee higher in elevation than the rail lines you noted. I'm not clear how tunneling would really help with that but I'm probably missing something. The areas, though, are not sparsely populated, per se, and there is zero way that anyone is going to build an airport in those areas if that's what is being proposed.
About 30 years ago a Republican state legislature proposed a mile wide transportation corridor from Battleground in the SW to Marysville. He anticipated a need for RR right of ways, trucking lanes, foot and cycle trails. It probably could have squeezed in a couple of 1 runway airports. This all would be 10-15 miles east of the I-5 corridor. It is still needed, but it will never happen. It would have cost money. Horrors! He was replaced by an even more conservative Republican.
I liked the idea at the time but I think there was this sort of resistance to the idea that such a rural route would really be useful or make sense. I remember it being further east than that - as much as 30 miles - but I might be remembering it wrong.
I don't know who proposed it, but it's been a long time since conservatives have had any control over what goes on in Washington State that I can't imagine it would have mattered. As it is, there's a very Seattle-centric mindset, making it hard to imagine money going towards anything that didn't involve Seattle (even if it would have benefited in some aspects).
"We've been looking at it from a time standpoint, not necessarily a distance standpoint," Bishop said. "If you can get from Moses Lake to Seattle within an hour, then I certainly think from an international model, that fits in those parameters."
Sounds like a deal, if
you can do that first part. Now, the trick is building a ("bullet?") train line capable of an average speed of 180 M.P.H.
Over the Cascade mountain passes.
Well, the Americans might not be up to it, but the French and the Spanish did it through the Pyrenees, and the Swiss through the Alps.
I'm still confused by the comment about going up and over the passes - we'd tunnel. It's not a new concept and it would reduce the grade substantially.