Closure of Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct delayed

September 18, 2018

SEATTLE (AP) — The permanent closure of Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct will happen in January and not this fall as previously expected.

Multiple news outlets report Washington Department of Transportation officials said Monday the state plans to shut down the elevated highway through the city on Jan. 11.

During a three-week transition following the closure, interchange ramps will be connected to a new four-lane tunnel that officials say will open in February.

The longer timeline stretches the $2.2 billion project three years beyond the original December 2015 timeline set by former Gov. Chris Gregoire, when she and lawmakers selected a tunnel in 2009.

The state Department of Transportation abandoned its optimism that the change from elevated to underground lanes could be accomplished this fall, and that the public could adapt on 30 days’ notice.

The structure was built in 1953 and weakened by a 2001 earthquake.

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