Secretive Seattle Freeway Replacement Plans Revealed

For the past year, a Washington state legislator has been devising a plan for replacing Seattle's damaged inner-city freeway, the Alaskan Way Viaduct. His plan has mainly been a secret -- until now.
September 29, 2008, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"State House Speaker Frank Chopp's long-concealed pet scheme for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which becomes public today, Sept. 25, at a meeting of the project's Stakeholder Advisory Committee (4-7:30 p.m. in the Bertha Landes Room of Seattle City Hall). Chopp has been passionately advocating this plan for the past year but not allowing public disclosure or debate. (Unless you're an insider, you're seeing it here first.)"

"He would build a mega-structure where the Viaduct now stands, just as high and almost twice as wide. The two ground floors would be developed as commercial space all along the structure, except for portals at street crossings. Next level would be an enclosed highway, three lanes in each direction (maybe one lane each way for buses), with vent openings at each cross street cutting under the highway. Atop would be a park with splendid views of Elliott Bay, 90 feet wide and extending more than a mile from the Pike Place Market to South King Street. Lastly, surface traffic would be routed to the east of this megaduct and along Western Avenue, so the (rather narrow) promenade on the waterfront, alongside the docks, would be traffic- and (almost) noise-free."

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Published on Friday, September 26, 2008 in Crosscut
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