Q13 FOX Season of Giving

‘It’s going to be messy for a while’: Businesses brace for viaduct demolition

SEATTLE - As the Alaskan Way Viaduct is getting ready to be demolished, the public was invited to learn about how the demolition will impact residents and businesses at an informational meeting Tuesday night.

With a growing city, some things come and some things go. Across the street from the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Michael Rico is learning how the viaduct will come down and the impact it will have on the opening of his new restaurant.

“In the first few months we’ll move slow, maybe do some pop-up dinners,” said Rico.

His new restaurant is on the corner of Yesler and Post in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. It opens at the end of December and is located a block away from the viaduct. His biggest concern is how to make his location an attractive spot for diners during the demolition.

“When building the reservation book days and weeks out it’s important to give guests as much info regarding traffic and parking and how to get to and from your restaurant,” said Rico.

WSDOT says the viaduct demolition is expected to take six months starting at the Columbia street ramp and moving north.

Two to three block sections will be removed in 30 days.

The double-decker viaduct structure will come down top to bottom, then the columns will be last to be taken down. The noisiest removal is expected to happen during deck demolition.

“What they’re going to do to mitigate dust and debris and handling of all those things,” said Peter Tomozawa who popped into the meeting because he recently moved next-door to the viaduct.

“We bought downtown because of the future of the waterfront,” said Tomozawa.

He learned water misting will be used to help mitigate dust and construction will happen seven days a week with the noisiest hours between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays.

“It’s well worth understand how this is going to be, because it’s going to be messy for a while,” said Tomozawa.

Change can come with obstacles, and that’s why these business owners and residents are educating themselves on navigating through what comes and goes to build a future on the foundation of a changing city.

“It’s how you manage the tough times,” said Rico.