Latest Program News

  • Bus lanes added to Seventh Avenue North as new construction phase begins

    Construction on Seventh Avenue North is shifting into a new phase that brings transit lanes to this important north-south street through the South Lake Union neighborhood in Seattle.

    During evening and weekend hours the street now features a second lane in each direction between Harrison Street and Denny Way. The newly added lane is a transit-only lane, which will help transit reliability for the many routes traveling between downtown and SR 99.

    A street with lanes marked with white paint and yellow construction cones showing two lanes northbound

    Above: Seventh Avenue North remains a construction area as crews build curbs and sidewalks.

    These new lanes will be closed 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on many weekdays while construction continues on both sides of the road. During these times the remaining open lane in each direction will operate as a general purpose lane.

    This month crews are focusing on rebuilding the corners of the complicated intersection of Seventh Avenue, Denny Way and Wall Street. People walking and biking through that intersection should expect short detours. The northbound bus stop that had previously been located north of Denny Way has been temporarily moved one block south to Borealis Avenue while the NE corner of the intersection is closed for construction.

    Map showing lane configuration on Seventh Avenue and no crossings at Thomas or John street

    Above: The lane and movement configuration of Seventh Avenue North until early 2020.

    Thomas and John streets remain right-in, right-out streets with crossings of Seventh Avenue North not permitted by car, foot or bike. To cross please head north or south to Harrison Street or Denny Way. The Thomas and John street intersections are scheduled to open sometime in January. For the latest construction updates on this part of our project, sign up for our construction email list.

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  • Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct is now history

    Updated 11/22/19: Late on Thursday we published a video that uses drone footage to capture the dramatic sight of Seattle's waterfront without the viaduct:

     

    For nearly seven decades, the Alaskan Way Viaduct dominated the downtown Seattle waterfront. Today, tucked out of view of the waterfront it so long divided, the final pieces of the viaduct were quietly plucked from a steep hillside near Pike Place Market.

    Construction crew posing in front of a concrete column lying on the ground decorated with a small Christmas tree

    Above: Kiewit crews pose in front of the final viaduct column, adorned with a topping-off tree.

    Viaduct demolition was an exceptionally challenging project, as the roadway stood perilously close to nearby buildings, live traffic on Alaskan Way, major underground utilities and a critical rail corridor. We kept people and goods moving while the contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West, and their demolition subcontractor, Ferma Corp., completed the job with no injuries and no significant damage.

    This historic milestone caps a year of accomplishment that began with opening the new State Route 99 tunnel in February. Although demolition is now complete, Kiewit will continue working into 2020 on filling and sealing the Battery Street Tunnel and rebuilding Seventh Avenue North.

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  • The viaduct is rubble and you can have a piece

    Four columns are all that remain of the hundreds that once supported the Alaskan Way Viaduct. North of Pike Place Market, the contractor Kiewit has been methodically cutting apart the final stretch of viaduct near the Lenora Street pedestrian bridge. This week they will cut and lift the final pieces, dismantle the crane, and begin to demobilize. While slope stabilization and other punch list work remains, for public purposes the viaduct demolition is essentially complete.

    Our final remaining time-lapse construction camera has captured the same perspective of Seattle’s waterfront since February. Here is the view looking south from Bell Street as the viaduct was munched, crunched, cut and picked into rubble.

    Obtain a piece of historic concrete rubble at the Friends of the Waterfront space

    We received many requests for commemorative pieces of viaduct concrete. At long last we have the answer: yes, you can have a piece.

    Small pieces of concrete are available for free at the Waterfront Space at the corner of Western Avenue and Union Street. Friends of Waterfront Seattle runs the space to showcase plans for Seattle’s rebuilt waterfront. Here’s where and how to obtain a piece of viaduct history:

    Looking ahead, construction is underway in the space where the viaduct once stood. The City of Seattle is building the two-way bus lanes on Columbia Street that will provide a connection for transit between Third Avenue and SR 99 south of downtown. South of Marion Street contractor crews are also mobilizing to begin early work on the new Alaskan Way surface street. Learn more about what’s to come by visiting Waterfront Seattle’s website or subscribing to their weekly construction email updates.

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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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