Contents tagged with Demolition
In 2011, crews demolished the southern mile of the viaduct, which accounted for nearly half the structure. The remaining portion of the viaduct will be demolished after the SR 99 tunnel opens to traffic. This work is currently expected to take up to nine months.
A new Alaskan Way street will be built in place of the demolished viaduct. This road will connect over the railroad tracks to Elliott and Western avenues on the north end, and to SR 99 near the stadiums at the south end, while providing east-west connections to downtown. The City of Seattle's Office of the Waterfront is leading this project.
Before we demolished the southern mile of the viaduct in October 2011, it carried approximately 110,000 vehicles per day just south of the mid-town ramps. Of this amount, approximately 17,000 vehicles entered or exited downtown at Columbia and Seneca streets, and 33,000 exited or entered at Elliott and Western avenues toward Belltown, Uptown, and neighborhoods along the 15th Avenue and Elliott Avenue corridor. The remaining 60,000 vehicles continued north through the Battery Street Tunnel, either exiting in the South Lake Union/Queen Anne area or continuing further north.
Routine safety inspections and maintenance keep the viaduct safe for public use. In 2008, crews strengthened four column footings where the viaduct had settled approximately five-and-a-half inches into the ground since the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. The column safety project limits settlement in this area of the viaduct and prevents further damage to the structure.
We also installed a system designed to close the viaduct automatically in the event of a moderate to severe earthquake in the greater Seattle area. The automated closure system consists of traffic gates at all viaduct access points controlled by an earthquake detection system. If the earthquake monitoring system detects significant ground movement, it will simultaneously lower all nine traffic gates and safely close the viaduct in two minutes.
In 2011, crews demolished nearly half of the vulnerable viaduct near Seattle’s port and stadiums. Drivers now use a construction bypass connected to new side-by-side bridges built to current safety standards.