The work to demolish the structure will take approximately six months to complete as crews move along the viaduct to remove it section by section. "The demolition means and methods are going to be familiar to people if you were around in 2011 when we demolished the southern mile of the viaduct," Brian Nielsen, Alaskan Way Viaduct program administrator, said in a recent press conference. "You’ll see a lot of similar tools and equipment used in the demolition, but this is a very different project from that southern mile. This project is in the heart of downtown with many buildings very close to the structure with active traffic along Alaskan Way and on the cross streets, so this is a very different project—much more complicated."
The demolition will coincide with WSDOT's plans to open Seattle's new S.R. 99 tunnel early next year, setting the stage for the biggest transformation of the city's central waterfront in a generation.
Kiewit Infrastructure West, the contractor conducting the work, has been working to finalize plans and scheduling for the demolition. The structure's removal will be unavoidably disruptive, but the waterfront, Pioneer Square and other nearby neighborhoods will remain open throughout the project, according to WSDOT.
Removing the viaduct, however, is just one part of the work to come. After the new tunnel opens, Kiewit will also begin filling and sealing the Battery Street Tunnel, and rebuilding Aurora Avenue North between Harrison Street and Denny Way. Both projects are scheduled to conclude in 2020.