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Seattle City Councilmembers join regional partners in launching next phase of Alaskan Way Viaduct tunneling project

Council President Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Seattle City Councilmembers join regional partners in launching next phase of Alaskan Way Viaduct tunneling project

SEATTLE – Seattle City Councilmembers today joined Gov. Chris Gregoire, state, port and local officials in breaking ground for the launch pit for the tunnel boring machine for the Alaskan Way Viaduct (AWV) replacement project. When complete the tunnel will connect to the new SR 99 roadway south of downtown to Aurora Avenue in the north providing for a safe corridor and better mobility.

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair said today, "This event marks the next critical phase of the tunneling project as the pit is readied for the boring machine. The tunnel project maintains capacity of Viaduct, avoiding the kind of congestion that could cripple movement of freight and growth of commerce in Seattle. The tunnel project will take the traffic, noise and blight that now separates our downtown from our waterfront and will bury it underground." 

"Today we break ground on a tunnel that will finally allow Seattle to rediscover our waterfront," stated Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Central Waterfront, Seawall and Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program Committee. "When complete, our waterfront will be active and vibrant, populated with parks, restaurants and cultural amenities. It will be a waterfront second-to-none, which will be cherished for generations. We are truly building for the future."

"One small scoop of dirt, one giant leap for Seattle," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. "After a decade of debate, I am excited to finally start work on a safe and superior corridor that will improve mobility in this region and create thousands of jobs. I look forward to late 2015 when this tunnel opens."

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