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Architecture & Engineering


By Clair Enlow

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April 28, 2010

Design Perspectives: Will Seattle emerge whole from the tunnel project?

Special to the Journal

Image courtesy of WSDOT [enlarge]
The deep bore tunnel being studied as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement will carry four lanes of traffic under downtown Seattle. Much of the two-mile-long tunnel will go through glacial till, reaching a depth of 220 feet. A panel of experts is helping WSDOT to manage the risks of design and construction, but the subject of who pays for any cost overruns may have to be settled in court.

The deep-bore tunnel, a two-mile segment of state Route 99 that is proposed to pass underneath downtown Seattle, is on track. Groundbreaking is set for the last half of 2011, with the tunnel opening in 2015.

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