The Alaska Way Viaduct is a terrible eyesore in an otherwise beautiful city
Toronto has its "mistake-by-the-lake", otherwise known as the Gardiner Expressway. New Westminster has its multi-storey concrete parkade on the waterfront. Seattle has the Alaska Viaduct - but not for long it would appear.
We don't normally cover stories affecting American cities, however, given how many of our readers are regular visitors to Seattle, we thought you might find this of interest.
Yesterday the Senate given a thumbs to begin demolition of the viaduct by a vote of 39-9. Governor Chris Gregoire told Associated Press the tunnel replacement:
Will create jobs, help us emerge from this recession stronger and prepare our state for a 21st economy.
It is estimated the new tunnel will cost approximately $2.8 billion dollars with Seattle taxpayers on the hook for any cost overruns above that amount. There are over 100,000 vehicles that use the Viaduct on an average day.
The Viaduct has not only been a huge eyesore for Seattle it has also served to cut off the downtown from the waterfront. It is anticipated the removal of the Viaduct will help to revitalize Seattle's waterfront and encourage even more people to move into the downtown core (see artist rendering).
As a regular visitor to Seattle, you can count me as one of the thousands of individuals who gave a collective cheer when the Senate vote results came in.
I'm looking forward to the day when all that traffic is stuffed underground where it should have been in the first place. Now if only we could get rid of the mistake-by-the-lake and New Westminster's god awful parkade. Oh well, one monstrosity at a time I guess.