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Battery Street Tunnel
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Watch: WSDOT fills Battery Street Tunnel with remains of Alaskan Way Viaduct

The Washington State Department continues its work to fill in the Battery Street Tunnel, using rubble and concrete from its efforts to demolish the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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In a recently released video, workers transport pieces of the viaduct to a construction yard, where a machine separates rebar and crushes rubble. What remains is then transported via truck, and poured into a funnel above ventilation grates for the Battery tunnel.

Eventually, this viaduct rubble will be used to fill the entire lower half of the tunnel, reaching about seven feet in height. The other half will be a special concrete mixed nearby, and poured in from the surface. WSDOT estimates this process will eliminate the need to truck in 4,000 loads of concrete on local roads.

This comes despite efforts from a group of Seattleites who had hoped to preserve the tunnel for alternate uses.

“We’ve worked hard to develop and collect ideas that turn it into something practical, super meaningful, and super beneficial to the city, to its citizens,” activist Aaron Asis told KIRO Radio back in 2018.

Unfortunately for advocates like Asis, plans to fill in the tunnel were signed years ago, with WSDOT noting a legal obligation required by environmental impact studies. Seattle City Council finalized those plans in a 7-2 vote in March 2018.

“The structure is a failing structure. It supports not just Battery Street … but to some degree, the adjoining properties,” Director of Major Projects Jon Layzer explained last year.

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