Looking back on a year that transformed Seattle forever

Posted on Dec 23 2019 11:53 AM
It’s hard to believe that a year ago today, people were driving on the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 
This year we reached the culmination of two transformative projects: we opened the SR 99 tunnel, and demolished the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Both efforts were years in the dreaming, planning and making, and they have forever altered Seattle’s waterfront and how people travel through downtown Seattle.

Here are notable milestones from this year of dramatic progress:

  • Jan. 11: We closed SR 99 for three weeks to #realign99 into the new tunnel. Thousands of people changed their commutes and we all worked together to keep people moving through Seattle.
  • Feb. 2-3: More than 110,000 people showed up for one last walk along the viaduct and a trip through the new tunnel. The public festival included Seattle’s largest-ever fun run and the biggest bike ride in Washington.
  • Feb. 4: Seattle’s new SR 99 tunnel opened to traffic on a snowy Monday morning.
  • Feb. 15: The first chunks of viaduct came out along the old Columbia Street on-ramp as demolition began.
  • May: Crews started recycling crushed viaduct concrete to fill the  the old Battery Street Tunnel.
  • September 21: The last piece of double-deck roadway along Seattle’s waterfront came down.
  • Nov. 21: Demolition done! The final piece of viaduct on the steep hill north of Pike Place Market was cut from its foundation and laid to rest.
We made a video looking back on this remarkable year in Seattle’s history:
Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our live construction cameras, followed us on Twitter, watched our YouTube videos, or simply paused on the sidewalk as giant machines demolished an iconic Seattle highway. However you engaged with our project this year, from WSDOT and our contractors to you, here’s to an unforgettable 2019. 

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