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Author Topic: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel  (Read 92142 times)

silverback1065

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #475 on: September 11, 2018, 03:31:34 PM »

There are no exits on the tunnel? Weird
sounds like aside the cost, this was a great project, you get to keep a highway and have an ugly one removed and allow access to the waterfront.  If tunnels weren't so expensive, this would happen in many downtowns.

It really doesn't replace the bulk of the viaduct's traffic (due to the lack of downtown ramps) and really wasn't worth the headache. The Surface + Transit option from the 2000s would have been much better, and we're essentially building it on top of the tunnel anyway (but at a higher cost and much later).

Fingers crossed that a major earthquake (either from the subduction zone or local fault) doesn't strike the viaduct before it's fully demolished. It wouldn't take down the whole waterfront, thanks to the new seawall, but it would still do a lot of damage.
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #476 on: September 11, 2018, 04:42:59 PM »

sounds like aside the cost, this was a great project, you get to keep a highway and have an ugly one removed and allow access to the waterfront.  If tunnels weren't so expensive, this would happen in many downtowns.

It really doesn't replace the bulk of the viaduct's traffic (due to the lack of downtown ramps) and really wasn't worth the headache. The Surface + Transit option from the 2000s would have been much better, and we're essentially building it on top of the tunnel anyway (but at a higher cost and much later).

Fingers crossed that a major earthquake (either from the subduction zone or local fault) doesn't strike the viaduct before it's fully demolished. It wouldn't take down the whole waterfront, thanks to the new seawall, but it would still do a lot of damage.

On the plus side, although it would kill many dozens of people, it would at least prove to the non-believers the viability of a tunnel through fill, and its ability to not only stand up in an earthquake, but also be one of the safest places.

Nevertheless, I would prefer a scenario without any death.

There are no exits on the tunnel? Weird

The tunnel was far too deep for any downtown exits to be practical. Plus, the new tunnel includes far better access to Alaskan Way than the current Viaduct. Alaskan Way will basically be the new downtown connector.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 08:45:29 PM by jakeroot »
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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #477 on: September 11, 2018, 08:27:57 PM »

The surface+transit option would've been good, but since 99 is used as a bypass of I-5 occasionally, this tunnel was needed for that traffic.

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #478 on: September 11, 2018, 08:39:34 PM »

The surface+transit option would've been good, but since 99 is used as a bypass of I-5 occasionally, this tunnel was needed for that traffic.

Highway 99 isn't typically used as a bypass for through-traffic, due to the time-consuming east-west connections at the north end to Aurora Avenue. It is useful to the south end, but that was mostly a side-benefit of having a few (but not too many) downtown exits.

Plutonic Panda

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #479 on: September 11, 2018, 08:51:29 PM »

Why would the surface and transit option have been better if thatís what there building anyways on top of this tunnel? The only difference is that option wouldnít havenít included a freeway tunnel?
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compdude787

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #480 on: September 11, 2018, 08:53:20 PM »

The viaduct was named after the street it parallels, Alaskan Way.

Why not call it the Alaskan Way Tunnel?

That's what I've been calling it so far.

jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #481 on: September 11, 2018, 08:54:51 PM »

The surface+transit option would've been good, but since 99 is used as a bypass of I-5 occasionally, this tunnel was needed for that traffic.

Highway 99 isn't typically used as a bypass for through-traffic, due to the time-consuming east-west connections at the north end to Aurora Avenue. It is useful to the south end, but that was mostly a side-benefit of having a few (but not too many) downtown exits.

There are no direct east-west routes from Aurora to the 5, but there are plenty of good-enough options for it to still be a feasible route to bypass Seattle to the West. I have used Aurora to bypass the city coming from the north, even though Waze was suggesting I stay on 5. Probably saved about 15 minutes?

I doubt the Port of Seattle would have supported the surface-only option anyways, and I seem to recall them having contributed to funding.

Why would the surface and transit option have been better if thatís what there building anyways on top of this tunnel? The only difference is that option wouldnít havenít included a freeway tunnel?

Reduced cost, smaller time frame, more consistent with city policy.
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compdude787

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #482 on: September 11, 2018, 08:57:49 PM »

The surface+transit option would've been good, but since 99 is used as a bypass of I-5 occasionally, this tunnel was needed for that traffic.

Highway 99 isn't typically used as a bypass for through-traffic, due to the time-consuming east-west connections at the north end to Aurora Avenue. It is useful to the south end, but that was mostly a side-benefit of having a few (but not too many) downtown exits.

The east-west connections at the north end to Aurora Avenue aren't really time consuming, considering that Aurora Avenue is only a mile west of I-5. I often take 99 into Downtown Seattle in the afternoons, just like Jakeroot does. I don't care if it actually saves me time as long as I'm moving faster than 5 miles per hour. I do have a car with a stick shift, so I'd much prefer not to be sitting in stop-and-go traffic.

Regardless, I'm glad they built the tunnel. Having only one high-capacity route through downtown Seattle would have been a disaster waiting to happen if they were stupid enough to do only the surface street.

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #483 on: September 12, 2018, 12:27:44 AM »

Regardless, I'm glad they built the tunnel. Having only one high-capacity route through downtown Seattle would have been a disaster waiting to happen if they were stupid enough to do only the surface street.

While that's as may be, I think we both know that neither SDOT nor WSDOT are really that interested in creating new high capacity routes within city limits. Minor changes here and there, sure. But make no mistake: if this project were going through the design phase today, instead of 10 or 15 years ago, the surface street would probably win out.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #484 on: September 12, 2018, 04:07:31 AM »

The surface+transit option would've been good, but since 99 is used as a bypass of I-5 occasionally, this tunnel was needed for that traffic.

Highway 99 isn't typically used as a bypass for through-traffic, due to the time-consuming east-west connections at the north end to Aurora Avenue. It is useful to the south end, but that was mostly a side-benefit of having a few (but not too many) downtown exits.

There are no direct east-west routes from Aurora to the 5, but there are plenty of good-enough options for it to still be a feasible route to bypass Seattle to the West. I have used Aurora to bypass the city coming from the north, even though Waze was suggesting I stay on 5. Probably saved about 15 minutes?

I doubt the Port of Seattle would have supported the surface-only option anyways, and I seem to recall them having contributed to funding.

Why would the surface and transit option have been better if thatís what there building anyways on top of this tunnel? The only difference is that option wouldnít havenít included a freeway tunnel?

Reduced cost, smaller time frame, more consistent with city policy.
Iíll be interested in seeing the traffic counts. To get better infrastructure you have to pay for it and sometimes it takes longer to build. Whatís faster and cheaper isnít always better.
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MantyMadTown

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #485 on: September 12, 2018, 04:45:27 PM »

The surface+transit option would've been good, but since 99 is used as a bypass of I-5 occasionally, this tunnel was needed for that traffic.

Highway 99 isn't typically used as a bypass for through-traffic, due to the time-consuming east-west connections at the north end to Aurora Avenue. It is useful to the south end, but that was mostly a side-benefit of having a few (but not too many) downtown exits.

There are no direct east-west routes from Aurora to the 5, but there are plenty of good-enough options for it to still be a feasible route to bypass Seattle to the West. I have used Aurora to bypass the city coming from the north, even though Waze was suggesting I stay on 5. Probably saved about 15 minutes?

I doubt the Port of Seattle would have supported the surface-only option anyways, and I seem to recall them having contributed to funding.

Why would the surface and transit option have been better if thatís what there building anyways on top of this tunnel? The only difference is that option wouldnít havenít included a freeway tunnel?

Reduced cost, smaller time frame, more consistent with city policy.
Iíll be interested in seeing the traffic counts. To get better infrastructure you have to pay for it and sometimes it takes longer to build. Whatís faster and cheaper isnít always better.

You should try telling that to WISDOT!

There's never enough money in the budget to complete all our projects yet Scott Walker refuses to increase the gas tax or do anything to increase revenues for transportation funding.

Anyway, back to talking about the tunnel.
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #486 on: September 12, 2018, 04:57:53 PM »

Why would the surface and transit option have been better if thatís what there building anyways on top of this tunnel? The only difference is that option wouldnít havenít included a freeway tunnel?

Reduced cost, smaller time frame, more consistent with city policy.

Iíll be interested in seeing the traffic counts. To get better infrastructure you have to pay for it and sometimes it takes longer to build. Whatís faster and cheaper isnít always better.

I would expect the ramps to and from Alaskan way to be quite busy, as it will be the new access route to Western. Although it's possible that Western-bound traffic will go through the tunnel all the way to Mercer, and then turn around.

While you have to pay to get better infrastructure, there is a lot of things that come with that infrastructure that might not be worth the cost. Lengthened construction time frames, misplaced residents, traffic flow changes, etc. And it's possible that it might not be worth it at all, and that's for the cost-benefit analysis to decide. In the case of the tunnel, it fell in its favor. You could conceivably extend any freeway, and see traffic flow improvements, but it's not always worth it, if you're misplacing thousands of people, or it takes way too long to build.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #487 on: September 12, 2018, 07:21:04 PM »

While Iíve yet to witness Washington first hand, from what Iíve seen they have a pretty good infrastructure network. I mean the traffic in Seattle is bad but pretty much every major city is like that. The roads seem to be in good condition and are quite impressive in some regards.
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #488 on: September 13, 2018, 01:01:03 AM »

While Iíve yet to witness Washington first hand, from what Iíve seen they have a pretty good infrastructure network. I mean the traffic in Seattle is bad but pretty much every major city is like that. The roads seem to be in good condition and are quite impressive in some regards.

Connections are good but narrow. Six lane roads are unusual, unlike many other cities where they seem to be common. The big issues are the lakes and hills, which make it difficult to navigate in a direct manner, and make it very expensive to build and widen roads.
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mgk920

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #489 on: September 14, 2018, 10:38:09 AM »

sounds like aside the cost, this was a great project, you get to keep a highway and have an ugly one removed and allow access to the waterfront.  If tunnels weren't so expensive, this would happen in many downtowns.

It really doesn't replace the bulk of the viaduct's traffic (due to the lack of downtown ramps) and really wasn't worth the headache. The Surface + Transit option from the 2000s would have been much better, and we're essentially building it on top of the tunnel anyway (but at a higher cost and much later).

Fingers crossed that a major earthquake (either from the subduction zone or local fault) doesn't strike the viaduct before it's fully demolished. It wouldn't take down the whole waterfront, thanks to the new seawall, but it would still do a lot of damage.

On the plus side, although it would kill many dozens of people, it would at least prove to the non-believers the viability of a tunnel through fill, and its ability to not only stand up in an earthquake, but also be one of the safest places.

Nevertheless, I would prefer a scenario without any death.

There are no exits on the tunnel? Weird

The tunnel was far too deep for any downtown exits to be practical. Plus, the new tunnel includes far better access to Alaskan Way than the current Viaduct. Alaskan Way will basically be the new downtown connector.

Sort of like when I-71 was rebuilt through downtown Cincinnati, a confusing mass of street connector ramps were removed and replaced with a narrower footprint depressed freeway with the only connections between it and the streets being at the ends.

Mike
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #490 on: September 17, 2018, 04:33:00 PM »

Looks like the tunnel won't open until early 2019, with the viaduct closure occurring 11 January. Seems like a delay from earlier estimates:

http://wsdot.wa.gov/news/2018/09/17/sr-99-tunnel-open-early-2019-not-longest-highway-closure-puget-sound-history
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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #491 on: September 17, 2018, 07:30:47 PM »

Looks like the tunnel won't open until early 2019, with the viaduct closure occurring 11 January. Seems like a delay from earlier estimates:

http://wsdot.wa.gov/news/2018/09/17/sr-99-tunnel-open-early-2019-not-longest-highway-closure-puget-sound-history

Aw, I was looking forward to the tunnel opening in October. Weeks of hearing nothing and now this. Not that it would affect me anyway, because I don't live in the area and wouldn't be driving here, but I wanted to see it done in a timely manner.
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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #492 on: September 17, 2018, 10:49:53 PM »

I'm so relieved. I have a trip to Ohio in the middle of October that I was hesitant to take if the tunnel ceremonies would have conflicted.

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #493 on: September 18, 2018, 11:11:30 AM »

Aw, I was looking forward to the tunnel opening in October. Weeks of hearing nothing and now this. Not that it would affect me anyway, because I don't live in the area and wouldn't be driving here, but I wanted to see it done in a timely manner.

Timely is a shipped that sailed long ago with this project!  :-D
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #494 on: September 18, 2018, 11:23:28 AM »

WSDOT did stress in their press conference that the 2019 opening is not actually a delay from post-pipe scheduling. Autumn 2018 would have been early.
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MantyMadTown

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #495 on: September 18, 2018, 07:13:08 PM »

WSDOT did stress in their press conference that the 2019 opening is not actually a delay from post-pipe scheduling. Autumn 2018 would have been early.

But that was their initial projected opening date. Then they pushed it forward, and now they moved it back again, so it feels more like a delay than going back to the original opening time.
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Bruce

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #496 on: September 18, 2018, 09:32:34 PM »

WSDOT did stress in their press conference that the 2019 opening is not actually a delay from post-pipe scheduling. Autumn 2018 would have been early.

But that was their initial projected opening date. Then they pushed it forward, and now they moved it back again, so it feels more like a delay than going back to the original opening time.

Projection, not a real and firm opening date.

None of this really matters, since the original opening date was supposed to be in 2016. An overbudget and way over schedule project is still the same if you're adding 2-3 months.

There's going to be a lot of people who are rightly smug while they say "I told you so" to all the tunnel boosters.

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #497 on: September 18, 2018, 10:45:12 PM »

Aw, I was looking forward to the tunnel opening in October. Weeks of hearing nothing and now this. Not that it would affect me anyway, because I don't live in the area and wouldn't be driving here, but I wanted to see it done in a timely manner.

Timely is a shipped that sailed long ago with this project!  :-D

Execute a bureaucrat and their family for each day of delay.  Things will be sped up then for sure!  Tolerate sloppiness and you will get sloppiness.

Rick
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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #498 on: September 19, 2018, 12:49:25 PM »

Execute a bureaucrat and their family for each day of delay.  Things will be sped up then for sure!  Tolerate sloppiness and you will get sloppiness.

Rick

Right. You'll also get asphalt that was poured in the rain or at the wrong temperature or humidity and sends chunks of rocks onto your windshield in 7 months because it's falling apart.
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #499 on: September 19, 2018, 02:20:12 PM »

Execute a bureaucrat and their family for each day of delay.  Things will be sped up then for sure!  Tolerate sloppiness and you will get sloppiness.

Right. You'll also get asphalt that was poured in the rain or at the wrong temperature or humidity and sends chunks of rocks onto your windshield in 7 months because it's falling apart.

I'm guessing this happened in your area. I've not heard of such a thing.
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