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Snow delays demolition of Seattle’s viaduct

Snow covers SR 99 this week, delaying the start of demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. (WSDOT)

Among other things, the snow has also delayed the demolition of Seattle’s waterfront viaduct. Crews were scheduled to begin tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Tuesday.

A statement from the Washington State Department of Transportation said that “snow/rain/ice today will dictate timing.” WSDOT will keep us posted.

The contractor, Kiewit, plans to begin demo at the Columbia Street on-ramp later in the week.

Once the viaduct is gone, the City of Seattle will replace it with a surface street, billed as a transformation for the city’s waterfront.

Demolition is expected to take six months to complete. WSDOT say the project’s major elements are:

  • Shifting Alaskan Way to the west of the viaduct (completed in October 2018).
  • Removing the Alaskan Way Viaduct from South Dearborn Street to the Battery Street Tunnel.
  • Removing the Columbia and Seneca street ramps.
  • Building a new, temporary pedestrian bridge across Alaskan Way to Colman Dock.
  • Restoring the area where the viaduct once stood and then turning the space over to the City of Seattle’s Waterfront Seattle Program.

Its replacement, the new SR 99 tunnel, opened to drivers on Feb. 4 with little fanfare, overshadowed by the start of Seattle’s parade of snowstorms. Two days later, the tunnel saw its first backup of four miles.

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