Contents tagged with home

  • Archaeological investigation begins at the access pit

    Archaeologists have begun investigating the concentration of shells first observed in the access pit on Oct. 23. Thanks to a an expedited review of our investigation plan by tribal governments, King County and the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, archaeologists were able to begin their work in the field on Tuesday, Oct. 28. 
    WSDOT and consultant archaeologists will excavate using standard techniques including mechanical and hand excavation, and screening material to gain more information about the shell deposit and the surrounding area. At this time, we do not know when the investigation will be completed. As more information is available to share with the public, we will pass it along.
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  • Access pit excavation update

    WSDOT archaeologists continue to work with the Federal Highway Administration, tribal governments and the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to develop an investigative plan to determine whether the shell deposit observed in the access pit last week is of cultural significance.

    Consistent with the National Historic Preservation Act and in preparation for the investigation moving forward later this week, we have temporarily disabled our access pit construction cameras. WSDOT treats potential cultural resources with respect, therefore the investigation will not be documented through our construction cameras. All non-access pit cameras are still available. We will repost the access pit cameras at the appropriate time. 

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  • Access pit excavation update

    On Oct. 23, WSDOT archaeologists monitoring the access pit excavation observed a deposit containing shell material that requires further evaluation and may indicate the presence of cultural materials. No artifacts or human remains were found. WSDOT has very strict protocols when archeological material is discovered and those protocols were followed today. Excavation activities in the access pit have stopped and we are now coordinating with the Federal Highway Administration and tribal governments, and the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation to determine the next steps. As more information is available to share with the public, we will pass it along.

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  • Access pit excavation is underway

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has started digging the circular pit (pdf 2.5 Mb) crews will use to access and repair Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. On Friday evening, Oct. 17, an excavator rolled into position to the west of the Alaskan Way Viaduct near Pier 48, where STP stopped tunneling last December after Bertha overheated. There, crews began taking the first scoops of soil from what will become a 120-foot-deep, 80-foot-wide pile-supported pit.
    Approximately 20,000 cubic yards of soil will be removed from the pit over the course of excavation. Because a number of other important construction activities are competing for space near the pit, there will be many days when excavation doesn’t occur. Contaminated soil will be hauled by truck or barge to a disposal facility; STP will store non-contaminated soil and use it to fill in the pit after tunneling resumes. 
    Meanwhile, crews are continuing to lower groundwater in enclosed areas near the machine and prepare for installation of the massive crane that will be used to hoist pieces of the machine to the surface for repair later this fall (simulated image below).
    Access pit simulation
    You can watch the pit take shape on our time-lapse cameras. Taken from our south-facing camera, the shot below shows you STP’s progress as of Monday morning, Oct. 20.
    Access pit on October 20
    Additional resources


    Previous updates

    Oct. 10, 2014 update – Seattle Tunnel Partners lowering groundwater near the access pit

    Sept. 8, 2014 update – With pile work done, Bertha inches forward

    Aug. 28, 2014 update – Construction of the access pit's underground walls wraps up, preparation for dewatering begins

    July 28, 2014 update – Construction of the access pit's underground walls will continue through August

    June 16, 2014 update – Contractor announces details of repair work plan for the SR 99 tunneling machine

    May 13, 2014 update – Construction of access pit’s underground walls now underway

    May 8, 2014 update - With environmental review complete, access pit construction begins in earnest

    Click here to see a full archive of progress updates


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  • Take a virtual tour of SR 99 tunnel construction

    Keeping the public informed about our work to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct is an important part of what we do every day. Our goal is to give you as much access as possible to this amazing project, which is why we regularly post updates, photos and videos of our progress. We even offer walking tours from our information center, Milepost 31, to a viewing platform that overlooks the pit where tunneling began in summer 2013.

    Unfortunately, there’s one frequently received request … more

  • New narrated video explains Bertha repair work

    As reported elsewhere on our website, work to access and repair the SR 99 tunneling machine is coming along. We’ve heard from some people that Seattle Tunnel Partners’ repair plan is hard to picture. Enter STP’s Chris Dixon, who was nice enough to narrate a video that explains what crews are doing to resume tunneling by March 2015. Watch it on YouTube or download a WMV file.

    Other resources 

    Seattle Tunnel Partners repair work plan (pdf 4.8 Mb) … more

  • What we’re doing to keep traffic moving during the four-day SR 99 closure

    We’ve been asking you to do your part to reduce congestion when SR 99 closes for four days starting Friday night, Aug. 22. That includes things like changing your commute habits and choosing an alternate way to get around.

    But what are we, the agencies tasked with keeping traffic moving during this closure, doing to help? Quite a bit, actually. Here’s a roundup of some of the steps we’re taking to help you and your fellow commuters through the closure.

    Washington … more

  • Traffic shift underway on State Route 99 near the stadiums

    Less than three years ago, crews demolished the southern mile of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. When they did, they shifted traffic onto a new section of State Route 99 south of downtown Seattle.

    Much of that new section of SR 99 is permanent, but the piece west of the stadiums is temporary. This curving stretch of road takes drivers around the SR 99 tunnel construction site and connects to the remaining section of the viaduct near South King Street. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s … more

  • Celebrate Bike Month on our new path

    Just in time for Bike Month, we opened a new permanent connection between the on-street bike lanes south of South Atlantic Street and the shared-use path from South King Street. Here’s a map that shows the improvements, which include:

    A dedicated, 14-foot-wide shared-use path with improved paving.

    Improved lighting.

    A separate northbound and southbound path for more efficient navigation.

    Signs warning of vehicles crossing the intersection of … more

  • The SR 99 tunnel contract you’ve never heard of

    You may have noticed more construction along State Route 99, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. That work is part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project, but it has its own name – the North Access Project. It’s also being built under a completely different contract than the one we have with Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contracting team responsible for most of the tunnel work. A map of major contracts within the program can be found here (pdf 1.1 Mb).

    Our contractor for the North … more