Monday, September 23, 2019

SEATTLE'S ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT FINALLY GONE


Finally.   After nearly 2 decades of arguing what to do, voting on it, watching the drama with boring the replacement tunnel, it's finally gone.   The last piece of the 60 year old double-decker freeway was finally demolished over the past weekend.

The last section on 9/21/19

For 60 years, the Seattle waterfront was blocked from the rest of the downtown neighborhood with this crumbling, noise and view polluting relic of a bygone era.  Look.

Eyesore viaduct.

1951.  Right before the viaduct was built.  Look at the space.

More than a handful of fuddy duddies spent the past 5 years predicting some type of apocalyptic carmageddon once it was closed.  I heard that downtown will be totally gridlocked, I-5 will be gridlocked even more than before, and the new tunnel will be a death trap and flood in an earthquake.  Nope.  Traffic in downtown is no worse. I-5 is about the same. And to boot,  travel time on the new 99 tunnel  to north Seattle is just a fraction of what it took on the late viaduct.

I will admit it did have a great view of the Puget Sound and Olympic range when stuck in the nightmare commute....  I will never forget the smell of the fish and chips wafting up when going by the waterfront.
I hated this drive.
And now we have a brand new tunnel.  Yes there will be tolls.  But at least you don't have to fear the viaduct pancaking in a quake. 

And the waterfront is WIDE OPEN.  No more shadows and the constant drone of cars going by over your head. It's surely going to evolve into one of the premiere spots in town for both locals and tourists.

For memories, my kid filmed the last trip on the viaduct on the last morning it was open.
Enjoy.

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