Last Ride on the Viaduct

It was a dark, rainy morning commute riding the bus into downtown. A pretty typical winter commute in Seattle–except for one thing. It was my last ride on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Last night Washington State Department of Transportation closed the venerable structure forever and soon it will be torn down. How I navigate this city will change dramatically.

I’m in another in-between state now: the Seattle Squeeze. For the next few weeks we’ll be forced to find creative ways for moving around this city as connections to Highway 99 are made from the now-closed viaduct to the soon-to-open tunnel. 

When the Seattle Squeeze is past, travel will still be messy. You see, the Squeeze is just an early phase of “the period of maximum constraint.” If you think that sounds way more ominous than the cutesy Seattle Squeeze, you’re correct. Maximum constraint is forecasted to last until 2021. 

It makes me appreciate my flexible work schedule. And now for another cup of coffee.

My last ride on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
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8 thoughts on “Last Ride on the Viaduct

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    1. Thanks, Alanna. It will be a change. The tunnel that is replacing the viaduct has one less travel lane in each direction and only two access points to downtown. It will definitely impact how people move in the city. On the bright side, tearing down the viaduct will open up the downtown waterfront.

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  1. The attachment to the Alaskan Way Viaduct (that incredible, unusual close-up view of the city and the panorama of Elliott Bay and the ability to zoom past it all) on the part of some has always struck me as more than a little queer for since my earliest memory of that elevated highway it seemed like a brutally misplaced, worst kind of intrusion in an already-overloaded landscape. Hostility manifested outright through architecture. But to the extent it has always “worked” as part of a very imperfect, interrelated system to move people and freight around I have total sympathy for all parties involved in whatever lies ahead. Will the next few weeks be a big headache, nightmare migraine or somewhere in between? Your vantage of this brouhaha is definitely going to be a distinct one coming from West Seattle. I’m glad you have some flexibility built into your work and commuting patterns.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The viaduct was an ugly and foreboding structure for sure, especially when traveling the surface street below it. Tearing it down will definitely change the feel and look of things along the waterfront. Flex schedule has been good so far.

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