VIDEO: Here’s how the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be torn down

With less than a month and a half to go until the Alaskan Way Viaduct is permanently closed (starting the evening of Friday, January 11th), WSDOT went public today with demolition details. The video above shows the sequence and methodology that’s planned (in short – starting in the middle, moving north, then moving south). Starting tonight, primarily for those who work/live downtown (though all are welcome), WSDOT is hosting three downtown info sessions (listed here) about the demolition of the Viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel; here are the info-boards they’ll be using, with specifics about street effects too:

(Go here [PDF] if the embed window above doesn’t work for you.) By the time the Viaduct demolition is done, 10 years will have passed since then-Gov. Christine Gregoire declared, when signing the tunnel bill, that its era was “over.” The southern mile of the elevated structure was taken down two years after that.

19 Replies to "VIDEO: Here's how the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be torn down"

  • Dunno December 4, 2018 (6:22 pm)

    Why are we building tunnels for billions of dollars, yet using one that we really need and already have (Battery Street tunnel as a dumpster?????

  • valvashon December 4, 2018 (7:49 pm)

    Don’t fill in the Battery Street Tunnel!  What’s wrong with you people!  What a cool shortcut from Belltown to the SLU area.  It’s a built street- leave it there!

  • Question Authority December 4, 2018 (9:19 pm)

    How is it that some readers keep missing the part in all of the Viaduct discussions about how the Battery Street tunnel is seismically and structurally unsound and not cost effective to keep in use.  Filling it has been in the plans for over 1 year and all the sudden the the concept hits people like brand new news, hello!

  • dsa December 4, 2018 (9:36 pm)

    It’s the seismic excuse to do away with traffic lanes.  Battery Street Tunnel could be engineered safe if they wanted it, but they don’t.  Does anyone remember when they used to say they could not put jersey curb on the Spokane Street viaduct?  They one day they decided to do it, nothing changed except will.

    • Question Authority December 4, 2018 (10:04 pm)

      Traffic lanes to where?  A sheer cliff the way things are going to be torn down, and out of whose pocket do you want to pay for the seismic upgrade costs for so little traffic mobility over a five-block distance with no new projected way in or out of it.  Dreamers 

      • Q December 5, 2018 (9:11 am)

        These are people who think that more roads will solve their traffic problems. Dreamers maybe, delusional more likely.

  • Sharing December 5, 2018 (10:25 am)

    “These People” are tax payers, hoome owners, nieghbors that commute and travel in the city and see they are being cutoff from accessing to the city by a vote that was years ago and does not represent their position.

    • Dawson December 5, 2018 (12:21 pm)

      Welcome to a representative democracy. If everyone got their way no one would get their way.

    • Kittenfuud December 9, 2018 (8:47 pm)

      Yes, the vote was (hurriedly) taken years ago. Things have changed! Maybe there should’ve been a vote on each phase of the construction. But Seattle is hell-bent and hyper-focused on gentrification; so much so that my hometown is becoming an unrecognizable mess traffic-wise, and nobody running the show seems to have a clear direction. Too late for another vote but IMHO this will not be good for the economy. No off ramps to downtown?!? Insane.

  • Jim P. December 5, 2018 (1:07 pm)

    I’d like to see a lot more info on this will affect pedestrian traffic in and around the Aquarium and along the waterfront.  It’s all well and good to worry about cars but foot traffic is already going to Hades over by the Aquarium as they keep blocking off or moving crosswalks and lights to get across the near-freeway that is Alaskan Way.  People can’t figure out how to get from Pike Place down there as is.

    • Question Authority December 5, 2018 (3:39 pm)

      All that was due to the continuation of the Seawall replacement project, and actually at that point the Viaduct is the farthest from the the street and will cause the least impacts during demolition.  It’s also where the Southbound vehicles will come falling out of the sky if the Battery Street tunnel is kept in use.

    • Marty2 December 5, 2018 (4:11 pm)

      The viaduct demolition is just the beginning of the waterfront roadway redevelopment.  The City will start rebuilding the roadway as soon as the viaduct demolition work is complete.  There will be a walkway bridge to connect Pike Place Market to the Aquarium.  This work is scheduled to be complete in 2023.  For more information see the City’s project website at

    • Tsurly December 5, 2018 (4:38 pm)

      Plus you will have to share the path along the waterfront with bikes when cars clog up the street. 

  • dsa December 5, 2018 (4:38 pm)

    The Battery Street Tunnel has connections to and from Western, those vehicles don’t fall out of the sky.

  • Dunno December 5, 2018 (7:35 pm)

    The battery street tunnel is a cut and cover, how in the world would it be so dangerous in a earthquake.   Use it for transit, cabs, uber, lyft with permits, and people (bikes) to get them safely from Pike place market and the water to Seattle Center and South lake union.  (think Amazon)   How much would it cost to build, as opposed to keeping up what we have.   It’s a no brainer!!

    • Question Authority December 5, 2018 (9:17 pm)

      Because the roof is slabs perched on walls that will distort in the big one and come crashing down, the decision is made so move along and join the path to progress.

  • dsa December 5, 2018 (9:51 pm)

    There is plenty of width to stabilize enough of the Battery Street Tunnel if the will had been present from the start instead of the negativism such as  is expressed to suggestions to saving it.

    • Question Authority December 6, 2018 (9:33 am)

      Having the dump trucks haul the demolition debris just the length of the viaduct to dispose of it sure beats driving all the way to Renton and back.  Talk about an obvious time savings and less traffic and pollution because of it.  The decision has been made regardless of how you feel about it, maybe you can start a go fund me page to save it.

  • Steve December 6, 2018 (6:52 pm)

    SAVE THE VIADUCT LLC!  We propose it be given National Historical Landmark STATUS.  Just because our efforts to have YASUKO’s granted Landmark Status failed miserably, doesn’t mean we can’t pull this one off.  C’mon people! Step up, there’s not much time left.  

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