Highway to Boulevard?: Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct

Colleen Foran's picture

In 2008, it was announced that Seattle’s major north-south thoroughfare, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, was beyond repair and would need to be torn down by 2012. This was happy news to new urbanists, who saw the tear-down as an opportunity to replace an aging eyesore with a ground-level boulevard that could reconnect Seattle with much of its waterfront and revitalize an entire neighborhood.

Unfortunately, plans to replace the viaduct quickly took another turn. Despite many citizens’ movements to the contrary, it was decided that a massively expensive deep-bore underground tunnel was the best replacement alternative, a project that many have compared to Boston’s infamous Big Dig. Boston’s project turned into a decades-long construction nightmare that ended up costing taxpayers $15 billion dollars. In Seattle, opponents of the bored tunnel plan worry the same thing could happen in their city.

Luckily, Seattle has yet to begin its project. There is still a chance to make your voice heard and support turning this highway into a vibrant, urban boulevard that supports public transit. WSDOT is asking for public input on its recently released Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Take this opportunity to show your support for CNU’s Highways to Boulevard program and for reclaiming urban neighborhoods.


Submit your input on the project by e-mailing awv2010SDEIScomments@wsdot.wa.gov or sending a letter to:

Angela Freudenstein

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project

Wells Fargo Building 999 Third Ave., Suite 2424

Seattle, WA 98104-4019


Tear it down!

Tear it down!

Be sure to visit

Be sure to visit www.peopleswaterfront.org. The ground level boulevard endorsed by CNU is a much more urban and urbane (and cost-conscious) alternative.


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