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  • 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 Seattle’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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  • Viaduct demolition returns to South Dearborn Street Sept. 12

    As crews removed the viaduct along Alaskan Way this spring and summer, two small sections were left standing at South Dearborn Street. WSDOT and our contractor Kiewit left these two sections in place in order to coordinate the timing of their removal with our partner agencies.

    With demolition in its home stretch, we are ready to remove the viaduct over South Dearborn Street. On Thursday, Sept. 12, crews will close South Dearborn Street and narrow First Avenue South to two lanes on either side of the intersection to create a safe work zone. South Dearborn Street will be closed for up to ten days while crews remove the viaduct overhead.

    Aerial of South Dearborn Street with viaduct section highlighted

    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.

    We and our partner agencies are very aware of how critical First Avenue South and South Dearborn Street are for bus riders and drivers heading to and from SR 99 and points south and west of downtown. Some King County Metro buses will reroute while South Dearborn Street is closed and our contractor Kiewit will pull their work zone back from Alaskan Way so the street has its full four lanes open during this closure.

    This closure will cause unavoidable disruptions to traffic and we ask drivers to make a plan for their trips: consider alternate routes or ways of getting around, including exiting SR 99 at Spokane Street, using transit or taking the King County Water Taxi. Next month will also bring demolition to the section of viaduct around Marion Street and changes for passengers arriving at Colman Dock. This construction is just one component of the #SeattleSqueeze as Seattle updates its transportation infrastructure to match the city’s mobility needs.

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  • The viaduct’s clock is ticking in Pioneer Square

    Today you can stand on the Alaskan Way sidewalk near South Jackson Street and see both ends of the viaduct from the same spot. In Pioneer Square only about one block is left standing of the highway that once snaked its way between Belltown and SODO.

    The process of turning the aging highway into rubble has been a waterfront spectacle this spring and summer. If you haven’t had a chance to watch demolition in person, we’ve captured a close-up view of the demolition process in slow motion:

    Find our full collection of viaduct demolition videos on our videos page.

    There’s still structure left to remove, which means there are still road and lane closures to contend with. Alaskan Way remains narrowed to one lane in each direction through Pioneer Square, so allow extra time if you’re driving to and from SR 99 via Alaskan Way or First Avenue South. South Main, South Washington and South Jackson streets are also closed at Alaskan Way.

    Want to know what’s closed, what’s open, and what comes next? Browse our interactive demolition map or subscribe to our Friday construction emails.

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  • Roads open, roads close: construction bringing changes to Alaskan Way and Denny Way

    The viaduct is shrinking along Seattle’s waterfront and the work zone is changing this week as the contractor Kiewit shifts their work zone. Meanwhile, the rebuild of Seventh Avenue North will reach Denny Way this summer and fall with a series of lane reductions and street closures. Read below for details and maps.

    Alaskan Way in Pioneer Square: Yesler and King reopen, Jackson closes

    Map showing traffic control changes on Alaskan WayCrews are removing the viaduct through Pioneer Square from both ends. See the map at right (click to enlarge). Here are traffic control changes to expect this week:

    • Today: South King Street reopens at Alaskan Way.
    • Tomorrow: Yesler Way reopens at Alaskan Way
    • Tomorrow: South Jackson Street closes at Alaskan Way.

    Uniformed police officers will help direct traffic this week at key intersections during the evening commutes.

    To reach Colman Dock: Vehicles can still enter the drive-on entrance at South Jackson Street by taking a left or right off Alaskan Way. Entering the holding area by driving straight west on South Jackson Street will be unavailable while viaduct demolition occurs overhead. Please allow extra time to reach your ferry as traffic congestion remains high on Alaskan Way.

    People walking and biking: When South Jackson Street closes, your new east-west options between Alaskan Way and Pioneer Square will be South King Street and Yesler Way. South Dearborn Street and Columbia Street also remain open to bicycles and pedestrians.

    Railroad Way South: This street will become northbound-only from South Dearborn Street, with northbound vehicles forced to take a right on South King Street. Vehicles can also turn onto southbound Railroad Way South from South King Street, but the southbound lane terminates mid-block at the 505 Western Avenue building parking garage.
     

    Utility work and paving at Denny Way and Seventh Avenue

    8/22 update: The schedule below is subject to change based on the progress of work. People walking and biking through the intersection of Seventh Avenue North and Denny Way should expect several-block detours during these weekends. Sidewalks on Denny Way between Sixth Avenue and Dexter Avenue will be closed.

    The intersection of Denny Way and Seventh Avenue is the mixing zone for two projects, the filling and sealing of the Battery Street Tunnel and the North Surface Street Connections project. Starting this month this intersection becomes a focus of work.

    Crews will be repaving sections of the intersection and installing a duct bank just east of the intersection. Due to the intersection’s importance in moving buses and vehicles, this work will occur only on nights and weekends.

    View a map of current traffic configuration in the area. Below is what to expect at the intersection of Denny Way and Seventh Avenue this summer and fall:

    • Aug. 24-25: Denny Way reduced to two lanes between Sixth Avenue and Dexter Avenue.
    • Sept. 7-8: Denny Way reduced to two lanes between Sixth Avenue and Dexter Avenue.
    • Sept. 14-15: Denny Way fully closed between Sixth Avenue and Borealis Avenue. Southbound Seventh Avenue North detoured at John Street. Wall Street closed at Denny Way.
    • Sept. 21-22: Denny reduced to two lanes between Sixth Avenue and Dexter Avenue. Wall Street closed at Denny Way.
    • Sept. 28-29: Denny Way closed between Borealis Avenue and Dexter Avenue.
    • Oct. 5-6: Contingency weekend in case of weather.

    Crews will also be working in the intersection on weekday nights, which will involve lane reductions but no full street closures. These closures are weather dependent, so subscribe to our weekly construction email or follow our Construction notices and detours page for updates.

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  • Work filling the Battery Street Tunnel with viaduct rubble nearing completion

    The first phase of filling the Battery Street Tunnel is wrapping up, scheduled to be completed this week. Since the tunnel closed on February 1, crews have been working inside on its decommissioning and filling. Such work included retiring and removing the tunnel’s utilities and mechanical systems, removing hazardous materials and filling the tunnel to about half its height with crushed concrete rubble.

    A four-wheeled golf cart sits in the entrance to the Battery Street Tunnel which has been half filled with crushed concrete rubble

    Above: A look inside the Battery Street Tunnel, now half-filled with crushed concrete rubble from the viaduct.

    For the first phase of filling, crews used processed concrete rubble from demolished pieces of the viaduct, pouring it in from vents in Battery Street above and compacting it down with vibratory rollers. This cycle of pouring and packing continued until the tunnel was filled to about seven feet from its ceiling.

    What’s next?

    Before moving onto the next phase of filling, crews are spending the rest of this year building utilities in the tunnel. Filling the tunnel provides a unique opportunity to build sewer and electrical infrastructure. Instead of digging into an existing street, crews can layer in vaults, duct banks and sewer lines before filling in the space around them.

    Once utility work is complete, scheduled for early 2020, crews will finish filling the tunnel. Phase two entails pouring low-density cellular concrete into the tunnel from the surface. This flowable concrete will fill in the gaps in the interior top of the tunnel. 

    Graphic showing both phases of filling the battery street tunnel

    The Battery Street Tunnel portion of the project also involves work above ground, including worksite restoration and surface street improvements along Battery Street. Neighbors and travelers in the area can expect some travel or parking lanes to be temporarily closed along Battery Street between Second and Sixth avenues during the upcoming months, with crews typically working one block at a time.

    To stay up-to-date on Battery Street Tunnel construction updates (as well as construction and traffic updates for viaduct demolition and Seventh Avenue North construction), join our weekly email list. You may also contact the project via email, viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov, or by calling the 24/7 construction hotline at 1-888-298-5463.

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