VIDEO: ‘2 miles of tunnel in 2 minutes’

In case you haven’t already seen it – with the planned opening of the Alaskan Way Viaduct-replacing tunnel getting closer all the time (still estimated for early 2019), WSDOT has put together a two-minute video featuring a drone’s-eye view of what it looks like inside right now. It’s been six and a half months since the tunneling machine finished its part of the job. A short WSDOT update accompanying the video says the tunnel’s upper deck is 85 percent complete. For a more-detailed progress report, go here. And if you’ve forgotten details such as “how do you get from West Seattle to downtown once the tunnel opens,” this might help.

19 Replies to "VIDEO: '2 miles of tunnel in 2 minutes'"

  • WS Guy October 20, 2017 (8:27 pm)

    Goodbye sunlight and views of the Sound.  Hello concrete and darkness.  And tolls.

    Btw. They should name the tunnel the West Seattle to Amazon/Vulcan SLU Express.

    • Terri October 20, 2017 (10:19 pm)

      And don’t forget: two lanes! And no downtown exit! Sad, isn’t it? And we can’t even call it SLUT(unnel), since they already have the SLUT(rolly).

  • Alki Resident October 20, 2017 (11:19 pm)

    That tunnel will never see my car in it.

    • Barry October 21, 2017 (1:51 pm)

      I, too, will miss the fantastic views, especially at sunset.

      But, “the “reason” why the tunnel was built was to replace a seismically vulnerable structure – the viaduct. ” doesn’t cut it for me!  With sizable quakes we have, doesn’t it seem like the “area” around the tunnel might liquidate, and…….

  • MSW October 20, 2017 (11:20 pm)

    We spent all this money on a crappy design with no exits. No trucks with fuel can go in, we lost one of the best views in the city and then we have the tolls. Traffic on the city streets will be extra busy. Wasn’t that the reason they built the AK viaduct, to relive the traffic on the city streets? 

    • dsa October 21, 2017 (1:43 am)

      1st Ave used to be Hwy 99 before the viaduct was constructed.  So yes the viaduct did take traffic off city streets.  They shoulda built the tunnel and kept the viaduct.  But the only reason for change has always been to destroy the viaduct for any reason.

    • Also October 21, 2017 (7:47 am)

      Don’t forget that traffic on the West Seattle bridge will be even more terrible. Sigh.

  • J Mo Solo October 21, 2017 (7:08 am)

    I’m looking forward to taking the tunnel every single day, apparently by myself!

  • LJ October 21, 2017 (7:35 am)

    Not impressed I much prefer the old  viaduct.

  • TJ October 21, 2017 (8:14 am)

    The tunnel is a wink wink deal between politicians and wealthy property owners who will benefit from the viaduct being gone. While the city is saying the huge price overrun from Bertha being down isn’t on us, I believe that still hasn’t been resolved. Also, the city is supposed to be doing surface street improvements as well, mainly a waterfront boulevard (8 lanes in part) to get traffic thru much easier. They need to stop dragging their feet on it and get going to deal with all the people who will avoid the tunnel and toll. I know I won’t take it ever

  • K. Davis October 21, 2017 (8:59 am)

    No MSW … the “reason” why the tunnel was built was to replace a seismically vulnerable structure – the viaduct.  The Nisqually quake almost collapsed the viaduct and study of the structure revealed another, closer earthquake would bring it down, with a lot of dead people.  

    So yes, I’ll miss the view too … but jeez people.  Deal in reality please.  

    Likewise with the whining about losing downtown exit at Seneca and Western.  Neither was possible with a tunnel.  Conversely, when the new surface portion of the project is done – the Alaskan Way portion, there will be new – different – access to downtown.  Of course, some will still bitch – it is our nature to complain about change; I get it.   But gosh … get some facts straight first.

    • The King October 21, 2017 (10:08 am)

      A replacement viaduct would have been fine. People are “bitching” about change when it makes no sense. Less lanes, less exits, a new toll… but hey if you own property down there congratulations on winning the lottery with the new unobstructed view. Why do you think people started freaking out when a proposal to leave part of the viaduct intact for a public park? Lol… it would be in the WAY. 

      • Anonymous October 21, 2017 (12:55 pm)

        Totally agree about less lanes. That’s the deal breaker for me. For all the cost, I’d like to see four lanes each way. I’ll definitely miss the view, but hoping the quieter waterfront makes up for it. 

        • dsa October 21, 2017 (2:55 pm)

          Years ago, before the nisqually quake, the city council requested and got the WSDOT and the UW to do a study to see if the viaduct could be quietened.  Once it was completed the council lost interest in the study.   Why?  It revealed most of the noise is reflected and could be stopped using state of the art methods.  Speculation is that the council wanted a different answer.

          • WSB October 21, 2017 (8:46 pm)

            What year?

  • Mrs. Shaw October 21, 2017 (2:04 pm)

    I was doing pretty good with my “flight” thru the tunnel until they told me it was 32 feet wide. Then I started to get a panic attack  – desperately looking for the light at end of the tunnel. 

  • K. Davis October 21, 2017 (9:14 pm)

    @The King … no, actually, a replacement viaduct was likewise a fantasy.  Do you understand that in order to build a replacement viaduct, that the entire original viaduct would have to be torn down to make room for the new viaduct?  And that construction of that project would take 2-3 years?  Please tell me what we would have done without any SR99 through the heart of the city for 2-3 years?!  If you were around when the viaduct was closed just for a few days, you might recall the gridlock to the entire south end of the city.  

    And jeez … the old BS line that we’re “losing lanes”.  Very Trumpian, in terms of making stuff up.  Go drive through the Battery St. tunnel and count the lanes.  See if we’re losing any lanes.  Let us know what you discover.

    • Anonymous October 23, 2017 (12:05 pm)

      At the Battery Street tunnel there are only two lanes. However, after you’re past the future entrance to the tunnel and up on the viaduct there are three lanes plus the exit lane.

      With the tunnel project, maybe they could have planned to add lanes to the Battery Street tunnel. I’m not an engineer, so I don’t know if it’s possible. Would help traffic flow.

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