South Half of Viaduct Coming Down in October

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The south half of the SR 99 viaduct, the section between South King Street and South Holgate Street, will be demolished in October, six months ahead of schedule.  This will save taxpayers almost one million dollars, as well as allowing WSDOT to reduce the contingency for risk by $500,000.  And it will mean that the construction of the replacement section of the south half of Viaduct will be finished almost six months ahead of schedule, in mid-2013.  This section includes about half of the earthquake risk area of the elevated highway. The south half of the viaduct is being replaced mostly as surface street, with some overpasses and elevated sections.  The original contract for the south half of the viaduct replacement came in at $114 million, which was 25% below the State’s engineering estimates.  The cost of the modified plan will be $2.6 million, but there will be $3.5 million in savings, leading to the net savings of about one million dollars. Under the new schedule, the highway near the stadiums will close for up to nine days during the demolition in late October.  It will then reopen with a temporary connection to the north half of the viaduct along the central waterfront.  Traffic will be two lanes in each direction through this section until the remaining portion of the viaduct is replaced. In order to keep people moving during this construction and the future construction of the central section, WSDOT, the City of Seattle, King County, and the Port of Seattle are spending more than $125 million in city street improvements, transit service, and trip reduction programs.