45th Street viaduct re-opens



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Posted on September 10, 2010 at 7:40 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 10 at 12:48 PM

SEATTLE -- A major construction project is done - just in time for game day traffic at Husky Stadium.

Seattle Department of Transportation workers re-opened the 45th Street Viaduct in northeast Seattle Friday. It had been closed all summer for construction, and crews put the finishing touches on the viaduct early Friday morning.

The Seattle Department of Transportation closed the road to replace a portion of the viaduct, which was built in 1938.

Friday, September 10, was the deadline for the Department of Transportation to re-open the heavily traveled stretch of road -- an agreement between the city, the University of Washington and Chamber of Commerce.

More than 20,000 cars drive over the 45th Street Viaduct everyday.

Seattle Department Of Transportation closed the road to replace this portion of the viaduct, which was built in 1938.

Traffic was detoured all summer winding through the University of Washington neighborhoods. The construction led to quite a bit of confusion and complaints.

"Yeah the Safeway has been the big problem getting to," said Dick Kirkendall, who lives near the University of Washington. "That's been the biggest problem when it first started, people learning about the best way to go around that made for more traffic on our street."

Once the road is re-opened, the 45th Street Viaduct will still be 3 lanes, but the sidewalks are wider, there's more lights. It went from 2 to 17 streetlights and most importantly it's seismically sound.

"It's going to be a better and more robust structure obviously when we're done. I think when we re-open it will be a breath of relief for everyone ourselves included," Michael Ward, Senior Project Manager with Seattle Department of Transportation.

The NE 45th Street viaduct is a major thoroughfare in Northeast Seattle. It connects I-5 and the University District to the northeast Seattle neighborhoods, the University Village, the University of Washington's Husky Stadium, Seattle Children's Hospital, and businesses along Sandpoint Way NE.

The Huskies play Syracuse for Saturday's home game.