The viaduct is being whittled away to nothing as Waterfront Seattle prepares for the next phase of construction

Posted on Oct 24 2019 2:08 PM

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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