This week, the State Route 99 tunnel through downtown Seattle opened to traffic, culminating many years of planning efforts. At over $3 billion, the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program has been one of the largest transportation investments in Washington State. The now-closed viaduct carried more than 110,000 vehicles per day along the City’s waterfront. While many Seattleites will miss the view from the double-decker freeway, we will all be much safer. The structure was not expected to withstand the “big one” – the major earthquake due for the Seattle area. The possibility of damage or failure in the next earthquake gave the project a sense of urgency and drive for progress.
View from the Alaskan Way Viaduct
Parametrix began working on the envi... (more)
Photo courtesy of the Pacific Science Center.
Background: The Alaskan Way Viaduct (SR99) is the "double-decker" freeway that runs along the Seattle Waterfront. This month it is being shut down permanently. Experts say the structure would not survive the big earthquake that the Seattle area is due for. Therefore it is being torn down and replaced by an underground tunnel. With Seattle traffic already hectic, this shut down has been a major topic in the news and has many Seattleites worried about their commute.
On a rainy night exactly two days and three hours prior to the permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Pacific Science Center hosted a panel of transportation geeks to talk about the future of transportation in Seattle. The timing was great, as Seattleites grew anxious about the impending doom to their commute thanks to the extensive news coverage on the closure.
I was honored to be par... (more)