SEATTLE – For the past three years, construction has been confined to a work zone west of Seattle’s stadiums for the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project. Starting this month, though, state and city projects will expand construction work into Pioneer Square and along the downtown waterfront.
During November and December, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) and J Harper Contractors will demolish the remaining 1,100 feet of the viaduct’s southern end, near Railroad Way South. Because there are no time constraints for this work, J Harper - a local demolition firm - will remove the structure one section at a time over several weeks. The demolished concrete will be hauled to Terminal 25, where it will be crushed and returned to the site for reuse.
In preparation for utility relocation and other work associated with the SR 99 tunnel, STP is also expanding their construction zone into Alaskan Way South between South Jackson and South Main streets. In mid-December, traffic using this stretch of Alaskan Way will be routed to a roadway underneath the viaduct. Leading up to the switch, crews are grinding pavement, preparing pedestrian curbs and ramps, and striping roads and new trails in order to accommodate traffic.
“We realize all this work is happening during the holidays and may make it difficult for businesses and shoppers downtown,” said Linea Laird, Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement program administrator. “That’s why we’re working with the city to make parking more affordable and a little easier for visitors to find in Pioneer Square and on the waterfront.”
To help support local businesses and encourage shoppers, WSDOT will make the following investments in parking, signs and information downtown:
· Open short-term parking on Pier 48 through Jan. 3, at a cost of $3 per hour (plus tax) for up to four hours – less than the cost of street parking.
· Launch a “Your Spot” marketing campaign to advertise that businesses are open during construction and parking is available. New signs will direct drivers to parking and retail districts along the waterfront and in Pioneer Square.
· Partner with private parking facilities to offer short-term parking at a cost of $3 per hour (plus tax). These partnerships are being negotiated and more details will be announced over the next several weeks.
Funding for these projects was included the state’s $3.1 billion estimate to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
In addition to the other projects, Seattle City Light is replacing a section of electrical lines attached to the viaduct with 2,400 linear feet of new underground lines. The new lines will be placed near the viaduct from Yesler Way to the Union Street substation (at Union Street and Western Avenue). Crews will begin field investigations and other preparatory work for the relocation in late November, and construction will be finished by May 2012.
WSDOT Ferries Division is working on Alaskan Way to replace an electrical duct bank between Yesler and Columbia streets. Viaduct program staff coordinated with WSF to ensure pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers can still access destinations and businesses in Pioneer Square and along the waterfront. Work started last week and requires one of two southbound lanes to be closed. This work will wrap up before Thanksgiving.
For more information on the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
· Rerouted traffic maps www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/Current_Work.htm
· Your spot www.yourspotishere.com
· Electrical line relocation http://seattle.gov/light/aboutus/construction/cwftransmission/