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January 11, 2018

Tunnel might open this fall

SEATTLE — Information released Wednesday by WSDOT indicates the waterfront tunnel could open this fall.

WSDOT says its contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, made good progress last year and that helped move the opening date from early 2019. A news release from WSDOT said it's too early to accurately predict a specific date.

The news release said the goal is to safely open the tunnel as quickly as possible and begin removing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which the tunnel replaces.

Before it opens, tests will be conducted on about 5,000 individual components and nearly 90 tunnel systems.

WSDOT plans to pick a contractor in late spring for the viaduct demolition, which includes decommissioning the Battery Street Tunnel and reconnecting surface streets across Aurora Avenue North. Combining these three projects under a single design-build contract is expected to shave a year off cumulative construction time.