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Extra Fizz: Mallahan Backer Tied to Viaduct Video

By Josh Feit October 26, 2009

The controversial video showing a collapsing Alaskan Way Viaduct, which WSDOT released today in the final runup to next week's election, was prepared by engineering firm Parsons Brinkerhoff. PB is the main consultant on the viaduct; as such, it stands to make millions if the project moves forward.

The video, which WSDOT says dramatizes the "urgent need to move forward," is certainly a gift to Joe Mallahan's campaign: Mallahan has been hyping the need to "move forward" on the viaduct while his opponent, Mike McGinn, has been adamant about stopping the project if the costs are out of whack.

One of Mallahan's advisory board members (and maxed out donors) is Jared Smith, an engineer at Parsons.

While Mallahan names the primary occupation for most of his advisory board members on his website—"Craig Dawson, President, Retail Lockbox," "Tayloe Washburn, Partner, Foster Pepper LLC," "Tina Podlodowski, President and CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound," for example, Smith's bio doesn't mention Parsons. It says simply: "Former City of Seattle Regional Transit manager and head of Transportation and Policy and Planning Board member of the Downtown Seattle Association and Futurewise."

I have calls out to Smith and the Mallahan camp.

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