Viaduct demolition

Removing the Alaskan Way Viaduct

WSDOT is removing the Alaskan Way Viaduct from Seattle's central waterfront to make way for the City of Seattle's Waterfront Seattle Program. This project will help transform Seattle’s waterfront while removing a vulnerable structure from our road network.

Wide angle view of machines demolishing the viaduct

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Why remove the viaduct

The Alaskan Way Viaduct was built in the 1950s and was damaged in the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. While it was strengthened and safe for daily use, the structure is seismically vulnerable. The viaduct’s role in moving people into and through downtown Seattle will be replaced by the new SR 99 tunnel and a new Alaskan Way surface street built once the viaduct is gone.

Scope of work

Viaduct removal work began on Feb. 12, 2019 and will conclude in fall 2019. The major elements of this project are:

  • Shifting Alaskan Way to the west of the viaduct.
  • Removing the Alaskan Way Viaduct from South Dearborn Street to the Battery Street Tunnel.
  • Removing the Columbia and Seneca street ramps.
  • Building a new, temporary pedestrian bridge across Alaskan Way to Colman Dock.
  • Restoring the area where the viaduct once stood and then turning the space over to the City of Seattle's Waterfront Seattle Program.

Project goals

Removing a large concrete structure from a busy waterfront will be unavoidably disruptive. Our primary goal is to remove the viaduct safely and with as little disruption as possible to nearby people, property and businesses. The contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., will follow a variety of standards and best practices as they design and conduct the work.