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Holy Cow, The Alaskan Way Viaduct Re-Opens Ahead of Schedule

Instead of this Friday, the Alaskan Way Viaduct re-opens today. Well isn't that a pleasant change?

WSDOT has clearly learned a valuable lesson from all of the troubles involving Bertha since her inception. Under-promise and over-deliver. That's exactly what they did with the two-week Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, which has now ended up being a one-week closure. The viaduct is open for business for this morning's commute.

Officials initially estimated the viaduct would be closed for two weeks as Bertha dug the tunnel that will eventually replace the earthquake-damaged elevated roadway. The job was done in 10 days.

"Removing traffic from the viaduct was critical to the success of this work, but we don’t want the closure to last a moment longer than it needs to," said WSDOT Acting Secretary Roger Millar.

As of Friday, Bertha was tunneling just 15 feet below the surface under the viaduct, the closest it will come to any ground-level structure on it's journey. On Sunday, STP installed the last of the rings beneath the major highway, which cleared the way for early inspection and approval.

WSDOT’s 24-hour command center will remain open until the machine has successfully tunneled 385 feet, the distance at which it will be completely clear of the viaduct. Clearly though, they don't foresee any issues.

That's kinda nice for a change. Keep it up, STP & WSDOT.
· Alaskan Way Viaduct opens for business, ahead of schedule [ST]
· Successful tunnel drive means an early opening for SR 99 through Seattle [WSDOT]
· Alaskan Way Viaduct's Two-Week Vacation Starts April 29 [CS]