South End Viaduct groundbreaking today: Project, step-by-step

(Screengrab from the interactive simulation – be sure to note the upper-right area to choose perspectives)
In advance of this afternoon’s Alaskan Way Viaduct South End Replacement Project groundbreaking ceremony, we asked WSDOT for the newest images – some of which were shown at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce briefing we covered last week. Even better, we just received this link to share – it’s a new simulation you can use to walk through the next three years of south end construction (this is the mile SOUTH of the proposed tunnel), step by step. (Background info – and more “survive the construction work” links – can be found here.)

16 Replies to "South End Viaduct groundbreaking today: Project, step-by-step"

  • dsa June 29, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    Wanna bet if the mayor will be there?

    • WSB June 29, 2010 (12:47 pm)

      Actually the updated media advisory sent this morning says he will be.

  • drshort June 29, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    What are the estimates, if any, for impacts to the commute from West Seattle to downtown?

    I have a feeling that foot ferry might start getting a lot more use.

  • dsa June 29, 2010 (1:31 pm)

    Glad I lost the bet.
    WSDOT has *real* detours planned and can be seen in the above and previous links provided by WSB.

  • Andy June 29, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    I can verify. I just watched the Mayor and 3 of his cronies pedal down 1st ave, swerving all over the place and generally abusing the road – not to mention his poor bicycle. They had a comedic little Vespa rider tooling along with them, too. I think I heard the Benny Hill theme song playing from somewhere.

    I work a bit too close to this circus.

    • WSB June 29, 2010 (2:57 pm)

      I’m just back from the event, have posted lots of pix on the Twitter feed
      story to come here shortly. Quite the indirect war of words re: the tunnel (though that’s a separate part of the Viaduct project) – TR

  • cjboffoli June 29, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    I think the WSDOT has done a nice job with the infographics in explaining a complicated project.

  • JAT June 29, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    Curious what Andy means above by:

    a) cronies
    b) swerving all over the place
    c) generally abusing the road

    The trip from City Hall to this groundbreaking strikes me as perfect cycling distance; I’d go so far as to say that firing up a couple city S.U.V.s to attend would be a far greater abuse of the road and the planet.

    But maybe I misread the rhetoric.

  • cjboffoli June 29, 2010 (5:16 pm)

    JAT: I agree with you for taking issue with this. If we lived in Copenhagen or Amsterdam it would be completely natural for a city mayor to take advantage of a sunny summer day by hopping on a bike for a short ride of this distance. But our mayor tries to lead by example and he gets ridiculed.
    Especially when crude oil continues to hemorrhage into the Gulf of Mexico because of our incessant demand for it, we need to reset our expectations. Gasoline-powered vehicles expend most of their fuel energy moving the weight of the car and about 1% actually moving the weight of the passengers. Walking or biking is a much more reasonable way of getting around a compact urban environment.
    Billionaire NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg rides the subway to work. I applaud our mayor for his similar conscientiousness.

  • Noelle June 29, 2010 (8:04 pm)

    I guess I don’t understand our city’s idea. Why are the city leaders replacing the south end of the Viaduct when they want to make it a tunnel anyway? Why not just wait to make the tunnel or whatever they end up with?

    cjboffoli – Well said, totally agree with you! Public transpertation makes life better for everyone. Happy to see our mayor making an effort.

  • beef June 29, 2010 (9:02 pm)

    noelle – this portion of the rebuild will fit into any option that is picked. the idea is to do all this work in stages to minimize the craziness.

    speaking of which, the temporary connection of the old and the new looks insane. i had never really been to picture it before going step through step. traffic is going to crawl through the s-curve. i’m going to miss you northend. :(

  • mar3c June 30, 2010 (7:14 am)

    looks to me like the railroad tracks to nowhere are the reason for the big clove hitch-shaped overpass at s. atlantic and alaskan way.
    i think those tracks exist solely so that BNSF can hook up long trains and generally annoy the living crap out of evening commuters; ’cause the bulk of rail traffic goes under downtown at king street and comes out behind the waterfront marriott. the tracks causing the big, weird overpass don’t even go through.
    i think BNSF, hanjin, port of seattle, and SSA terminals ought to be paying a hefty share for that overpass. freight and rail are the reason for the weird, crazy designs.
    not to mention the spokane street grade separation debacle.

  • frog baseball June 30, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    those freight tracks exist because the large double stack trains are too long for the tracks in stacey yard. the trains therefore have to be doubled over, and sometimes tripled if they are that long. sorry you don’t like it but the freight trains own that land and have the right to it. without all the port traffic feeding those train shipments there would be a lot less economic activity and jobs.

  • mar3c July 2, 2010 (6:46 am)

    it’s a prime example of piss-poor ad hoc planning, and it’s not the way to run a major city.
    west seattle, georgetown, and SODO share our commute with two cement plants, two concrete plants, BNSF, and port traffic, and i agree with mcginn that seattle taxpayers shouldn’t shell out cost overruns alone. get some of these deep pockets – whose very success depends on *all* forms of traffic flowing smoothly – to shoulder more of the financial burden. after all, they’re doing more physical damage to the public roadways than passenger cars.

  • mar3c July 2, 2010 (6:54 am)

    not to mention the two stadiums that we “lease” to even deeper pockets.
    now there was a stroke of genius: “let’s drop *two* stadiums next to one of the worst commutes in the country and see what happens.” and we let them hand us the bill.

  • lanchenzo July 4, 2010 (4:26 pm)

    The railroads and port need to bo moved out of the core.

    Transport and shipping could easily be handled outside of the core.

    Seattle needs to reclaim waterfront.

    Take a look around…look North to Vancouver…
    It’s a much more attractive city.

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