Alaska Way Viaduct Project Moves Ahead

CONCUR worked on the project from 2007 to 2010, with its role focused on collaborative process design, strategic planning advice and stakeholder involvement. CONCUR was part of a team that helped build broad consensus for the deep-bore tunnel alternative that helped break a years-long impasse. Keys to the project included: (1) reframing the problem to focus on systems solutions, rather than just a short reach of highway; (2) creating a framework agreement for agencies to pool their problem-solving focus and increase decision making certainty; (3) structuring a dynamic alternatives analysis process that let stakeholders see evolving analysis; (4) reaffirming a solid decision by political leaders to support the bored tunnel solution; (5) creating strong incentives for joint commitments to timely implementation.

The world’s largest tunneling machine, named “Bertha” after Seattle’s first woman mayor Bertha Knight Landes, started drilling the new 2-mile route for Highway 99 under buildings in downtown Seattle on July 30, 2013. The new highway will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct – a double-decked highway along the waterfront in downtown Seattle, which could collapse in an earthquake. The new tunnel and removal of the old viaduct is central to a larger project to renovate the Seattle waterfront, rebuild the seawall, improve surface streets, and add new vistas of Elliott Bay. The tunnel itself will be about 58 feet in diameter and is one of 30 projects that make up the entire Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.

For other AWV replacement-related news, see the Washington State Department of Transportation website at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/viaduct/

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