Latest program news

  • The viaduct is being whittled away to nothing as Waterfront Seattle prepares for the next phase of construction

    November update: Waterfront Seattle has begun staging construction equipment along Alaskan Way between South King and Marion streets as the City of Seattle prepares to build Seattle's new waterfront. Visit waterfrontseattle.org for more information.

    Most travelers along Seattle’s waterfront won’t be able to spot them but two small slivers of Alaskan Way Viaduct remain standing. Tucked away on the slope above the railroad tracks north of Pike Place Market, they are all that remain of the highway that once dominated Seattle’s central waterfront.

    The biggest piece left

    A horizontal section of viaduct sitting in the middle of a worksite

    The photo above was taken October 23 on Lenora Street just east of the Lenora Street pedestrian bridge. This 200-foot section of deck is all that remains of the old on-ramp that carried vehicles from Elliott Avenue up onto the viaduct’s southbound deck.

    The other remaining structures sit on the steep slope below Victor Steinbrueck Park. This is the area where crews have been working for months to carefully cut and lift the roadway that sits atop and adjacent to the BNSF railroad tracks. One bent and two columns are all that remain, but due to working hour restrictions imposed by the railroad it will take several more weeks to fully remove them.

    Waterfront Seattle construction begins in November

    Removing the viaduct is one of several dramatic transformations in store for Seattle’s central waterfront. The SR 99 tunnel was designed to work in tandem with a rebuilt Alaskan Way surface street constructed in the footprint of the viaduct. Now that the viaduct is gone, work is beginning on that new street.

    Waterfront Seattle plans to start work on Alaskan Way between Marion Street and South King Street in early November. (Construction has already begun on Columbia Street building the future two-way road for connecting buses between Alaskan Way and Third Avenue.) Their work will keep Alaskan Way fully open during peak commute hours. If you live, work or commute along Seattle’s waterfront, we encourage you to get on their mailing list so you know what to expect:

    • Program website: Waterfrontseattle.org
    • Emails: Sign up for Waterfront Seattle construction emails
    • Text: Text “WFSCN” to 474747 to receive Waterfront construction text updates. Text messages will be sent if there are any changes not captured in their weekly email.
    • Call: 206.499.8040
    • Track construction online: Waterfrontconstruction.org.
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  • Out of the shadows: double-deck viaduct demolition complete on Seattleā€™s waterfront

    It has been more than six decades since Seattle’s downtown waterfront enjoyed a full day without the shadow of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  The last weekend of summer marked the end of the double-deck structure’s reign along the waterfront between Pike Street and South Dearborn Street, near the stadiums.

    This new video captures the tremendous difficulty of the work and the depth of the transformation along Seattle’s waterfront.

    There is still work ahead. Some streets and crosswalks remain closed as cleanup work continues, along with demolition of the viaduct’s ramps north of Pike Place Market. Follow our weekly demolition tracker and sign up for weekly email updates for the latest road closures and re-openings.

     

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  • Wall Street closed and Denny Way reduced this weekend for paving

    The North Surface Streets Project continues its street construction work this weekend at the intersection of Denny Way and Seventh Avenue. At 8 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 20, Wall Street will be closed at Denny Way. Southbound vehicles on Seventh Avenue North will have to turn right onto Denny Way. Denny Way will also be narrowed to one lane in each direction between Sixth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. These restrictions will end by Monday, Sept. 23 at 5 a.m.

    During the closure crews will pour new concrete roadway on Wall Street as part of our project's rebuilding of the intersection. This is the second of four weekends of paving in this heavily travelled intersection:

    • Sept. 13-16: Paving west side of Denny Way intersection [DONE]
    • Sept. 20-23: Paving Wall Street at Denny Way
    • Sept. 27-30: Paving east side of Denny Way intersection
    • Oct. 4-7: Follow-on paving work

     

    Map showing Denny Way reduced to one lane in each direction at Wall Street and Wall Street closed

    The rebuild of Seventh Avenue North reached a milestone this week when crews opened the brand-new sidewalk on the east side of the street between Harrison Street and Denny Way. Crews then closed the corresponding sidewalk on the street's west side. We are completing this work in phases to maintain routes for people driving, walking and biking in the area while conducting a total rebuild of three blocks of a major city arterial street.

    When work is complete in mid-2020 this three-block stretch of Seventh Avenue North will feature two lanes in each direction, dedicated bus lanes and new intersections at Thomas and John streets. You can follow construction's progress by signing up for our weekly construction emails.

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  • South Dearborn Street set to reopen for Sept. 18 morning commute

    Demolition crews made quick work removing the section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct above South Dearborn Street, one of the structure's last remaining sections. As a result, the intersection of South Dearborn Street and First Avenue South will reopen Wednesday, Sept. 18 by 6 a.m. - much earlier than initially planned. By tomorrow morning First Avenue South will once again have two lanes in each direction and northbound Railroad Way South will also reopen. This video shows the work that took less than a week to complete.

    What’s next?

    Starting at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, Alaskan Way will be narrowed to one lane in each direction near Marion Street so demolition teams can take down the one remaining span of viaduct along Seattle’s waterfront. Later this week, crews will stripe a bus-only lane on northbound SR 99 between South Spokane Street and South Dearborn Street. This lane existed during SR 99 tunnel construction and helps ensure reliable trips for King County Metro buses carrying about 30,000 passengers a day into downtown. The bus lane is scheduled to be in place by Sunday, Sept. 22 but the work is weather dependent. King County Metro's northbound buses will remain on temporary reroute until start of service on Sunday, Sept. 22.
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  • Be prepared: Road closures at South Dearborn Street and Denny Way, and an overnight tunnel closure all happening this week

    9/13 update: The southbound detour on Seventh Avenue North has been changed and the map below updated.

    Multiple road closures are coming at the end of this week – here’s a look at what to expect to help you plan your travels.

    Demolition at South Dearborn Street begins this Thursday, Sept. 12

    This Thursday morning South Dearborn Street will close as crews begin demolishing the portion of the viaduct that remains overhead. Northbound King County Metro buses that currently turn onto South Dearborn Street from SR 99 will temporarily reroute. South Dearborn street will reopen by Sept. 22.

    Aerial of Dearborn Street showing section of viaduct to be demolished and road to be closed

    Caption: The two remaining sections of viaduct (in orange) at South Dearborn Street may not look big, but removing them is complex work due to the many underground utilities that criss-cross the area.

    SR 99 tunnel overnight closure this Friday, Sept. 13

    Both directions of the SR 99 tunnel will be closed 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 to 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 for regular maintenance. The tunnel’s northbound direction will close again at 10 p.m. Saturday night and reopen by 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15.

    Denny Way closed this weekend with detours of Seventh Avenue North

    If weather allows crews will pour new concrete in the intersection of Denny Way and Seventh Avenue North this weekend. The work will close Denny Way between Sixth Avenue and Borealis Avenue from 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 until 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 16. As a result, Wall Street at Denny Way will also be closed, and Southbound Seventh Avenue North will be detoured at Thomas Street.

    Map showing intersection of Seventh Avenue North and Denny Way closed, with pedestrian detour route via Sixth Avenue and Borealis Avenue

    This is part of a series of weekend closures at Denny Way and Seventh Avenue that started in late August and continues into the fall. Please note that this work is weather-dependent and may be subject to change.

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  • Viaduct demolition at Marion Street begins Friday Sept. 6

    Millions of ferry passengers have walked the Marion Street pedestrian bridge to and from Colman Dock but after decades of operation this well-travelled path is finally changing. Starting around 10:30 p.m. this Thursday night, Sept. 5, crews in charge of demolishing the Alaskan Way Viaduct will remove the bridge’s span over Alaskan Way and haul it away.

    During this work, Alaskan Way will close between Yesler Way and Madison Street. The roadway closure starts at 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5 and ends by 5 a.m. Friday, Sept 6. When Alaskan Way reopens Friday morning, Marion Street will be closed at Alaskan Way as demolition teams start removing one of the last remaining double-deck sections of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

     

    Keeping people moving

    Keeping people moving safely to and from Colman Dock is important. After the old bridge is gone, uniformed police officers will manage intersections on Alaskan Way to ensure ferry passengers can safely cross. Officers will remain in place until a new, temporary pedestrian bridge opens along with the first section of the new Colman Dock ferry terminal. Washington State Ferries’ contractor is currently completing final safety checks and certifications necessary to shift ferry operations to the new terminal.

    During the demolition across from the ferry terminal, several nearby streets will remain open. Pedestrians can use Columbia Street, Madison Street and Yesler Way to reach Alaskan Way. People with disabilities can continue to use the existing street-level elevators at Marion Street to reach the upper level of Colman Dock until new elevators at Pier 50 near the passenger-only ferry terminal are open. Ferry riders can check the WSF website for the latest information about Colman Dock construction.

    Drivers and bicycle riders should be aware that Alaskan Way will be narrowed to two lanes south of Marion Street. Anyone traveling to this area should allow extra time to reach their destination. 

    Demolition progress

    Demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is close to 90% complete. Removing the old Marion Street bridge and the remaining viaduct at Marion Street are critical steps toward reaching the demolition finish line. After Marion Street demolition, there is one final piece of disruptive work. On Sept. 12, the intersection at South Dearborn Street and First Avenue South will close for 10 days as workers remove the old ramp structure above.

    Traffic backups during the South Dearborn Street closure could be significant and we ask drivers to consider alternate routes or ways of getting around, including exiting SR 99 at Spokane Street, using transit or taking the King County Water Taxi. We appreciate people’s patience as we coordinate multiple construction projects that will ultimately keep people moving to and through Seattle.

    Want to be notified of what’s closed, what’s open, and what comes next? Subscribe to our Friday construction emails. You can also follow demolition progress on our interactive demolition map.

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Media requests

If you'd like to schedule an interview with a member of our team, please contact:

Laura Newborn
Media relations, Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program 
206-305-0595
newborl@wsdot.wa.gov