The Alaskan Way Viaduct Essay

The Alaskan Way Viaduct Essay

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The Alaskan Way Viaduct is connected to State Route 99 and is located on the Elliot Bay downtown waterfront in Seattle, King County, Washington. It is a two level structure of reinforced concrete that runs for about two miles. The Viaduct was designed by the City of Seattle Engineering Department and the Washington Department of Highways, Bridge Division, and is owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The viaduct was built between 1949 and 1966 and was the first double decker to be built in Washington. The viaduct gave a direct connection through downtown Seattle and the industrial areas to the south. When it was built, it had the ability to carry over one hundred thousand vehicles per day.

In the early 1900’s Seattle’s waterfront was completely packed with trains trucks and wagons carrying cargo from the ships, and it only got worse once a seawall was extended and made a street called Alaskan way in 1935. The viaduct was mainly built to relieve such traffic. In 1947, Seattle did a traffic study that showed, two new north south routes had to be built, to greatly affect traffic and make an easier commute. While reading the Historic American Engineering Report (HAER) I found, “The traffic analysis identified six reasons why Alaskan Way would be the most effective route:
• It would carry a larger volume of traffic when completed (59,000 vehicles per day, compared to 47,000 on Alternative 2).
• It could be constructed in stages, each of which would be a usable facility.
• It could be constructed to its final length for the least cost because the northern section (Aurora Avenue) was already completed.
• It would have the lowest right of way costs because it could be built mostly on property already owne...

... middle of paper ...

...andBattery Street Tunnel. Rep. no.
WA-184. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. .
Lok, John. 2008. Photograph. The Seattle Times, Seattle. Web. 6 Mar 2014.
Ott, Jennifer. "Demolition of the Southern Mile of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct Begins on
October 21, 2011." N.p., 7 Mar. 2012. Web. 06 Mar. 2014. .
"Viaduct Beginnings." Alaskan Way Viaduct. Washington State Department of Transportation,
Mar. 2011. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Washington State Department of Transportation. "Alaskan Way Viaduct – Earthquake
Simulation." YouTube. YouTube, 23 Oct. 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2014. .

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