SEATTLE – The world's largest-diameter tunnel boring machine won't start digging beneath Pioneer Square until 2013, but the public won’t have to wait until then to dig into the State Route 99 Tunnel Project or the historic neighborhood where the record-breaking machine will begin its journey.
Milepost 31, a new project information center in Seattle’s Pioneer Square Historic District, will open Dec. 1 with a celebration hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation. The facility, which pairs tunneling technology with local history, hopes to draw visitors to the neighborhood during construction to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Milepost 31 was developed in partnership with neighborhood advocates and historic preservation officials as part of a federal requirement to mitigate project effects on historic properties.
Visitors to Milepost 31, named for the point where SR 99 enters Pioneer Square, will find historic artifacts, 3-D models and pieces of tunneling equipment. Interactive exhibits will show how Seattle’s landscape and shoreline have changed during the past 15,000 years, and how crews will build the massive tunnel that will replace the viaduct and reshape the SR 99 corridor.
The grand opening will feature guest speakers and drawings for prizes furnished by the Alliance for Pioneer Square, including an iPad® and gift certificates to Pioneer Square businesses. The event will be part of a busy night in Pioneer Square that includes a Seahawks game, a tree-lighting ceremony in Occidental Park and the monthly art walk.
Milepost 31 grand opening
3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
Speakers will begin at 3:30 p.m.
211 First Ave. S., Seattle
For more information on the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
· Milepost 31: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/milepost31.htm
· SR 99 Tunnel Project: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR99/Tunnel/
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