Viaduct demolition expected to begin soon

VIDEO: Viaduct demolition delayed by snow

SEATTLE — The long-awaited demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is expected to begin in the next couple of days.

On Wednesday, contractors said they hoped to begin the work by Friday.

"We got through snowmaggedon, and we're going to start work in a couple of days," Phil Wallace, of Kiewit Infrastructure West, told reporters.

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The first phase of work is to take down the Columbia Street on-ramp of the old State Route 99 and the northern edge of the viaduct near the Seattle Aquarium.

Large deconstruction equipment is now in place, and dump trucks are hauling in crushed rock, which will be spread 2-3 feet deep along the pavement to protect underground utilities.

Kiewit hoped to start demolition Tuesday, but the city delayed permits for the dump trucks during the snowstorm.

"It was a safety concern. I think it was a good idea," Wallace said.

Despite the delay, Wallace said he is confident the work can stay on track to be finished in about six months.

The work zones will move along the waterfront, each covering two or three blocks for about a month.

The new SR 99 tunnel, which replaces the viaduct, opened to traffic Feb. 4.

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