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Friday, June 03, 2011
Travis Phelps, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-462-0554 (cell)
KaDeena Yerkan, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-805-2846; 206-795-1876 (cell)
SEATTLE – A section of the seismically-vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct is now scheduled for demolition this October, six months ahead of schedule. The southern mile of the viaduct is coming down early after the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and its contractor, Skanska USA Civil, found ways to streamline the project schedule and save money.
“Ten years ago the Nisqually quake struck and woke us up to the vulnerability of the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct,” said Governor Chris Gregoire. “We committed to replace the viaduct on time and on budget. We are meeting or beating that commitment in project after project and will be demolishing the vulnerable south end six months ahead of schedule. We are making progress and the greatest risk we are facing is delay. Our economy and public safety cannot wait.”
Streamlining the schedule allows crews on the S. Holgate Street to S. King Street Viaduct Replacement Project to move out of the way of future construction work sooner than planned, resulting in improved construction efficiency, reduced risk and reduced costs. The original schedule to complete the current stage of the south end project was the end of 2013; it is now estimated to finish by mid-2013.
“Demolishing the viaduct early shows we are committed to finding ways to improve efficiency even after a contract is signed,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “Thanks to our strong partnership with Skanska and the efforts of the more than 150 construction workers, we are reducing risks and delivering ahead of schedule and on budget.”
The direct savings to taxpayers will be $3.5 million in reduced administration costs, construction costs, and fewer property needs. Skanska will receive $2.6 million from the state to compensate for additional work to complete the demolition earlier than planned. The net savings will be approximately $900,000. WSDOT will also retire $500,000 in risk with this plan. The original contract value was $114 million, which was 25 percent below the engineer’s estimate.
State Route 99 near the stadiums will close for up to nine days during demolition in late October. When SR 99 re-opens, drivers will use the new SR 99 bridge and a temporary connection to the remaining section of the viaduct along the central waterfront.
Traffic will remain two lanes in each direction through this section until the remaining viaduct is replaced.
WSDOT and the city of Seattle, King County and the Port of Seattle have invested more than $125 million in transit service, city street improvements and trip reduction programs to keep people and goods moving during construction.
For more information on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement program, visit http://www.alaskanwayviaduct.org/.
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