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Thursday, February 17, 2011
Travis Phelps, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-462-0554 (cell)
Greg Phipps, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-437-6314 (cell)
SEATTLE – Regardless of the weather, crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will demolish the first piece of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct starting 7 p.m. Friday.
Crews will tear down the nearly 60-year-old northbound SR 99 on-ramp from First Avenue S. The work will take all weekend to complete, including Monday, Presidents Day.
Once the demolition work is complete, crews will race to build a new on-ramp connecting northbound SR 99 to S. Royal Brougham Way by April 1 to avoid substantial disruptions to traffic heading to the stadiums.
“After a decade of talking about it, we’re starting to bring down the vulnerable viaduct before Mother Nature does it for us,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “This month marks the 10-year anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake and this significant milestone represents great partnership and progress for our region.”
The aging viaduct, which carries approximately 110,000 vehicles each day through Seattle, is a vital link for commuters and freight haulers.
“Demolition of the first piece of the viaduct is a major step toward our larger goal,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “Replacing the vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct creates a safer SR 99 for drivers, maintains capacity to help strengthen our economy, and shapes a waterfront for the future.”
“This is the beginning of the end of the viaduct. We are continuing to work with the state to move forward with the replacement of the viaduct and to protect all who use it,” said Seattle City Councilman Tom Rasmussen.
Upcoming ramp and road closures on or near First Avenue S.
The ramp demolition work will require crews to close the southbound SR 99 off-ramp and two city streets.
• 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, until as late as April 1
- The northbound SR 99 on-ramp from First Avenue S. will be closed.
• 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, through 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 21
- The southbound SR 99 off-ramp to S. Royal Brougham Way will be closed.
• 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, through 5 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22
- First Avenue S. will be closed between S. Royal Brougham Way and S. King Street.
- Railroad Way S. will be closed between Occidental Avenue S. and S. King Street.
WSDOT will maintain access to local businesses while these streets are closed to through traffic. This work must be completed by April 1 to avoid substantial disruptions to traffic heading to the stadiums.
Drivers can find regularly updated traffic information for downtown Seattle and SODO through the construction traffic update web page.
The project’s website has more details about the reasons for the ramp access changes and building an SR 99 detour, and it has maps that will help drivers navigate the changes.
For more information on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement program, visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org/.
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 5-1-1.
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