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Demolition of the viaduct now in sight
With tunnel boring complete, we’re deep in the planning stages for demolition of Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct. On Thursday, we’ll launch an online open house to show what’s ahead and give the public a chance to comment on the work to come.
Removing the seismically vulnerable viaduct will be the most visible change to Seattle’s waterfront in decades. The demolition work begins after the new State Route 99 tunnel opens, which is estimated for early 2019.
WSDOT has successfully completed this type of work before. In 2011, we demolished the viaduct’s southern mile and built a new road in its place. However, the remaining section of the viaduct is more challenging, as it is much closer to buildings, businesses, homes and the busy Colman Dock ferry terminal.
Demolition is expected to take up to nine months, with the viaduct being demolished in sections to minimize localized disruptions. This contract will also involve other project elements, like filling in the Battery Street Tunnel and reconnecting several surface streets across Aurora Avenue North, which will take additional time.
Several weeks before the new tunnel opens, WSDOT will shift Alaskan Way to the west of the viaduct, which will allow traffic to move along the waterfront before and during viaduct demolition. This new video below explains some of the planning for the demolition.
Online open house
The online open house will be live from August 3 - 14.
In-person open house
WSDOT is also hosting an in-person open house on August 10 for anyone interested in the work or who wants to speak with project staff. Representatives from Waterfront Seattle, Center City Connector Streetcar, Colman Dock, King County Metro, One Center City and Seattle Aquarium will also be available to answer questions.
In-person open house details:
- Date: Thursday, August 10
- Time: 5 to 8 p.m. (walk-in style, no formal presentation)
- Where: Waterfront Space, 1400 Western Ave., Seattle, WA 98101
WSDOT is committed to providing equal access to its facilities, programs and services for persons with disabilities. To request disability accommodations for the Aug. 10 open house event, email the ADA Office at least 7 days in advance at email@example.com or call toll-free 1-855-362-4ADA (232). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may make a request by calling the Washington State Relay at 711.— more —
Seattle Tunnel Partners is now past the halfway point in disassembling the 8,000-ton tunneling machine Bertha. All of Bertha’s cutterhead is out of the disassembly pit and crews are working their way from top to bottom, cutting sections of the machine and lifting them by crane.
Much of the machine’s trailing gear remains inside the tunnel, out of view of our time-lapse camera. Inside the tunnel, crews are cutting and hauling pieces of the trailing gear out of the tunnel via the south portal. This new time lapse video captures the work happening inside the tunnel.
Work has progressed enough inside the disassembly pit to allow STP to use Bertha’s thrust rams to pull a large section of the trailing gear into the pit. Crews will now work from both outside and inside the tunnel to continue removing the trailing gear, which will help expedite work.
Much of the conveyor system that moved extracted soils from the tunnel onto barges has also been removed. The photo below shows crews lifting the white over-water section of the conveyor last week.
While crews dismantle the machine, work continues on the road inside the tunnel. The photo below shows crews building the upper roadway inside the launch pit near the stadiums, where Bertha began her 9,270-foot tunneling journey underneath Seattle. You can monitor progress here.— more —
When Bertha finished digging on April 4, 2017, it marked the end of one critical element in the work of building the new SR 99 tunnel. It also marked the end of a straightforward, if simplified, way to track progress on building the tunnel (distance tunneled).
With Bertha’s disassembly nearly complete, we are shifting our focus to the other elements of work remaining before the tunnel is ready for traffic. This week we debut a new way to track this progress.
Our new Latest … more