Viaduct demolition brings out curiosity, emotions

SEATTLE -- We're wrapping up the first week week of demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The tear down has become a spectator sport, bringing out all sorts of emotions and anticipation.

Woody Macleod and his wife Candy of North Bend wanted to see it for themselves. They've lived in the Pacific Northwest for 37 years. Today, they drove to Seattle to take in the old elevated highway, for what may be the last time.

"This is one of the best scenes in Seattle overlooking Elliott Bay," said Macleod about the viaduct. "I'm going to miss that."

Kelsy Bloomquist of Seattle is showing her friend from Wisconsin the city's newest tourist attraction-- demolition on display.

Bloomquist admits, she's a bit emotional.

"Yeah, I've been really sad about it," Bloomquist said.

Others who rely on tourists, like Neal James, whose family has owned Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the waterfront since 1899 are a bit worried. Concerned that six months of construction could hurt business.
"Even though it`s not affecting a lot right here," said James. "As soon as people think there's construction and there`s stuff happening, they tend to stay away."

Others like Josh Alhadeff, a real estate developer from Bellevue, are more optimistic. With every span of concrete that crumbles, he feels we`re one step closer to a dynamic new public space - connecting the waterfront to downtown and Pike Place Market.

"I think it will be a much better use for the waterfront once it's down," Alhadeff said about the viaduct. "If they do everything they've got planned for the boardwalk and the promenade."

Preparing for the city's next chapter, while saying goodbye to a piece of our past.

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