Demolition work on Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct well underway (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Apr 29 2019, 5:54 pm

In just a matter of weeks, over 30% of the Alaskan Way Viaduct on the waterfront of downtown Seattle has been demolished.

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Crews quickly ramped up demolition work shortly after the US$3.3-billion, 3.2-km-long replacement tunnel route opened in early-February.

This 1950s-built portion of the Route 99 freeway going through downtown is largely double-decked and is about 3.5-km long.

Planning for the demolition and replacement of the 1950s-built viaduct began after the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck near Seattle in 2001. The viaduct was damaged by the earthquake, and emergency repairs were made.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, demolition work is on track for a full completion this summer.

The large waterfront spaces once occupied by the viaduct will be replaced by new public spaces and a new surface eight-lane arterial road that supplements the four-lane freeway tunnel below. This new public realm — totalling 20 acres of new promenades, plazas, parks, and green spaces — will be built by the City of Seattle at a cost of US$700 million.

Waterfront Seattle

Artistic rendering of Waterfront Seattle after the demolition of the viaduct. (City of Seattle)

Tolls on the tunnel will begin later this year, with rates ranging from US$1.00 to US$2.25 with a frequent user pass.

Seattle’s viaduct demolition project has been of special interest to City of Vancouver planners, as demolition work on the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts in downtown Vancouver could begin as early as next year.

 

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