Contents tagged with viaduct

  • + How are you managing parking during construction?

    WSDOT and program partners meet regularly with a group of Pioneer Square and central waterfront stakeholders to identify and implement parking mitigation strategies. A plan to address short- and long-term parking concerns in these neighborhoods was completed in 2012. Example strategies include: partnerships with parking facilities to offer low-cost, short-term parking options; wayfinding signs that direct drivers to the parking supply; a responsive mobile website that provides data on parking availability and directions; and a public awareness program to let visitors and the general public know that parking is available in Pioneer Square and on the waterfront during SR 99 tunnel construction.

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  • + Is viaduct replacement construction being coordinated with other nearby projects?

    WSDOT coordinates with partner agencies on nearly every aspect of the program including overall strategy and management, project schedules, construction and public involvement. Project coordination extends beyond the SR 99 viaduct replacement - coordination with the Seawall Project, the Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock ProjectWaterfront Seattle and many other projects is vital to keeping traffic and construction moving.

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  • + When will the viaduct be demolished?

    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.

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  • + What will happen to the Battery Street Tunnel?

    The Battery Street Tunnel was constructed in the 1950s and has not been upgraded since. Its electrical and mechanical systems are difficult to maintain and do not meet modern safety requirements. WSDOT conducts regular safety inspections of the tunnel. It will be closed and filled in after the SR 99 tunnel opens to traffic.

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  • + Is most of the traffic using the viaduct going to downtown or through downtown?

    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.

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  • + Is the viaduct still a safe structure on which to drive?

    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.

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  • + Why is replacing the viaduct important to public safety?

    The Alaskan Way Viaduct was built in the 1950s, and decades of daily wear and tear have taken their toll on the concrete structure. While it remains safe for everyday use, it also remains vulnerable to earthquakes.
     
    The 2001 Nisqually quake damaged the structure and hastened plans for its replacement. WSDOT has since repaired and strengthened the viaduct, and conducts twice-yearly inspections for safety. Parts of the viaduct, however, remain built atop fill soil that could liquefy in an earthquake. A tunnel will provide a much safer roadway for people travelling along SR 99. 
     
    Replacing the aging seawall is another element of improving the Seattle waterfront's resiliency against earthquakes. Visit the Waterfront Seattle website for information on the seawall replacement project.

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