Latest Program News

  • 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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  • New video: Behind the scenes of viaduct demolition

    Double-deck demolition begins in Pioneer Square

    With Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition wrapping up along Seattle’s central waterfront, demolition contractor Kiewit is turning its attention south to Pioneer Square. Yesterday, crews established a work zone around Yesler Way, across from the Colman Dock ferry terminal (see a map of street closures). They will soon begin demolishing the viaduct and working their way south. Meanwhile, another crew has already begun working on the viaduct around South Dearborn Street.

    The two crews will work toward each other and meet in the middle. In some places the viaduct sits extremely close to nearby buildings. In those tight locations, demolition teams will saw-cut the structure and lift large pieces with cranes. In most locations, giant munching machines will demolish the structure as they have done farther north along the central waterfront.

    It’s a large and challenging undertaking, one of the toughest jobs these seasoned crews have ever experienced. This new video takes you inside the work zone for a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like to tear down the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

    If you are traveling through the area this summer, expect lane reductions and closed roads around the work zone. To give crews space to work and keep the traveling public safely away from the demolition work, Alaskan Way will be narrowed to two lanes and cross-streets closed beneath the viaduct. Drivers should expect increased congestion during heavy driving times around the SR 99 on-ramp and off-ramp at South Dearborn Street. Vehicles will continue to be able to take left and right turns from Alaskan Way into the Colman Dock vehicle holding area at South Jackson Street.

     You can follow progress by subscribing to our Friday construction email updatesbrowsing our interactive tracker, and checking out photos of the work on our Flickr site.

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