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May 15, 2006

Opinion: Another vote for viaduct repair

Your interesting comparison of the tunnel versus the street level on Alaskan Way (“Viaduct options: give the surface street a chance” DJC May 1) did not have a repair existing viaduct comparison.

Hundreds of competent professional engineers throughout the Northwest would vote for replacing the seawall with steel sheet piling, then augmenting the existing viaduct piling with steel tube piling with enlarged concrete caps on top integrated with the existing caps. Then, strengthening the existing columns with structural fabric or encapsulating the columns with reinforced concrete. If added bracing is necessary it can be accomplished with steel cross-bracing.

All of this can be done without closing the existing viaduct to traffic. If resurfacing of the roadway is necessary, lanes can be closed at night for the repair.

All approaches and exits would remain, including the Battery Street Tunnel.

The savings in time and money would be tremendous.

Larry Johnson


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