January 2, 2013
The Seattle Department of Transportation on Dec. 21 reopened the Airport Way South Viaduct in north Georgetown after a yearlong closure and $34 million rehabilitation.
Spanning the Argo Railroad Yard, the viaduct was built in 1928 to separate Airport Way South and the Union Pacific, Northern Pacific and Seattle-to-Tacoma Interurban railroad track.
Much of the rehab work involved replacing the aging timber-framed approaches with mechanically stabilized earth wall structures. Additional work included rehabilitation and seismic improvements to the viaduct's main span, and upgrades to a number of surrounding streets under a separate contract.
Mowat Construction performed the main work under a $17 million contract and the street improvements under a $1.2 million contract. Crews still have to connect the viaduct's drains and install a 10-foot-tall railroad fence that is being built in Utah. The fence will be installed on the west side of the viaduct's south approach. It is a railroad requirement for new construction to discourage people from throwing debris on the tracks.
“Repairing and rehabilitating the Airport Way South bridge and roadway and other critical transportation projects is vital in keeping our transportation system functioning,” said City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in a release. “I thank the Seattle voters for approving the Bridging the Gap levy funding measure that financed this important project in Georgetown that serves the residents as well as businesses and freight industries throughout our region.”
Bridging the Gap is a $365 million levy passed in 2006 that enables much-needed maintenance and improvement work by SDOT, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge maintenance, and tree pruning and planting.
Major subcontractors to Mowat were Condon-Johnson & Associates, soil improvements; Purcell Painting & Coatings, sandblasting, prep and paint; Penny Lee Trucking, demolition hauling; and KLB Construction, civil work.
More than 13,000 vehicles cross the viaduct daily.