Sunday, June 12, 2011

Removal Of South End Of Viaduct 6 Months Ahead Of Schedule

Who needs a fancy tunnel anyway? Motorists and businesses who regularly need to use the Hwy 99 corridor overwhelmingly say we do.

The viaduct was closed Saturday so that state Department of Transportation crews could tear down two columns to make way for the new southbound Highway 99. It reopened late Saturday night. "We're scheduled to take down the south end of the viaduct here six months early,"  says Matt Preedy of the state DOT. But right now workers need room, so they closed northbound lanes from the West Seattle Bridge to Royal Brougham. Southbound lanes were completely shut down Saturday. "Then you don't have many options left, right? - when the viaduct is closed," said one motorist who was caught in the jam. This weekend's gridlock could be a glimpse at traffic in October, when the viaduct will close for nine days so crews can knock down nearly a mile of elevated road. If nothing else, the weekend closure shows just how dependent Seattle is on the viaduct,  and how much strain it causes when the major thoroughfare is not available. (via KOMO story on this weekend's closure of the viaduct)

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