The Seattle waterfront is undergoing an epic change that will forever change the face of the city from the water’s edge. That change is the replacement of the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct. After nearly a decade of debate, deliberation, public comment and vote, as well as even legislative action, the decision was made last year in 2012 to move ahead with the deep bore tunnel option as the replacement method for the two level elevated viaduct that currently runs along the Seattle waterfront.
I am going to do a blog series talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly from the condominium owner and buyer’s perspective with regards to this project. I’ll hold my opinions until the end of the series, but I want to take you on a photo and map journey through the neighborhoods around the current viaduct that will be most impacted. Hopefully, this series will help bring some clarity and help folks make decisions about where they might want to live if they are looking into buying. Or if you currently own a Seattle condo in the affected areas, if and when you might want to consider selling and moving up to something different, or even staying put and enjoying what is to come.
We will start with where the tunnel is starting and where the viaduct has already partially been removed, which is Pioneer Square and the Stadium District (also called the south portal). This is the area where you see most of the construction going on currently. What’s happening here? They have basically temporarily rerouted highway 99 around an area where they are actively digging and constructing the south portal of the tunnel (aka, the Pit). This is where the big boring machine will be starting its dig to the north deep beneath the city. You can consider this ground zero, where it all starts.