• WSDOT warns people to stay off the now shutdown Viaduct

    By: Deedee Sun

    Updated:

    Saturday brought the first sunrise, over a still viaduct.

    “It is very quiet, it’s weird,” said Leslie Finer, from Seattle.

    For most of the day, the highway stood empty.

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    “It’s just so quiet, it’s just totally different,” said Rich Kaplan, who lives in Capitol Hill.

    Then in the afternoon, hundreds of people started pushing past barricades for a final hurrah.

    “I think it’s pretty awesome that everyone’s decided to come out and walk across,” Finer said.

    The mountain – out in January, as if - to witness the spontaneous goodbye.

    “That’s Seattle pride,” said John Jacobs, who said he was born and raised in West Seattle. “I am saying bye, because it’s a staple for me,” he said.

    But WSDOT said the viaduct is now a work zone and it’s not safe to be on it any longer, and bypassing the barricades is trespassing.

    “We’re really concerned for people’s safety. It’s not safe for people to be on the viaduct, especially on the ledges. The viaduct is closed to all traffic – cars, pedestrians, cyclists, or other forms of transportation. There is active construction on the viaduct,” said Laura Newborn with WSDOT.

    Seattle Police soon cleared the crowds.

    Plus demolition of an on-ramp to the former highway is already well underway.

    The guts of the on-ramp are exposed, and giant machinery is working from day to night – turning the 66-old structure into giant piles of concrete and mangled rebar.

    “It’s kind of sad seeing it ripped apart like that,” said Galfato Endale, who lives in West Seattle.

    People who live near the viaduct have expressed concern about demolition noise.

    “I feel bad for the people, I feel bad for the workers, you can’t get – nobody wants to live listening to this,” Endale said.

    But as the sun sets on the beginning of the end for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, people are looking ahead.

    “This is a goodbye, and the beginning of changes again, so hopefully it’ll be good,” said Julie Finer, another Seattleite.

    “It’s a really exciting evolution for the city,” Kaplan said.

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