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Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition officially begins

It started with a chunk of the Columbia Street onramp

The Columbia Street onramp—pictured here from below—is where demolition began.
Alex Garland

It’s the beginning of the end: Crews took the first chunk out of the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Friday, starting a months-long process to remove the aging freeway towering over downtown Seattle.

We’ve had our eye on the viaduct demolition for quite some time—we’ve known, vaguely, that it was coming since 2001, when the Nisqually quake caused major damage to the freeway, but we’ve been in countdown mode (albeit, a constantly-adjusting one) since work began drilling the tunnel set to replace it in 2013. The idea was that the viaduct would come down after the tunnel opened—originally scheduled for 2015.

The tunnel opened to traffic last week, clearing the way for clearing out the Viaduct, but snowy weather got in the way of a planned start date Tuesday. Clearer roads later in the week allowed demolition contractor Kiewit, which had already been fencing off portions where work is imminent, to start the process.

Demolition work is planned out through May. Seattleites can follow the process via WSDOT’s demolition tracker. The first few segments to go, currently highlighted in red on the tracker, are the Columbia Street Onramp and a couple of sections on the north end of the highway.

Kiewit’s will also seal off the Battery Street Tunnel, which will be filled in with viaduct rubble, and rebuild road connections along Aurora.

Demolition of the Columbia Street on ramp to southbound 99 viaduct.

Posted by KOMO News on Friday, February 15, 2019

Alaskan Way Viaduct

Alaskan Way Viaduct, , WA