New cracks found in Alaskan Way Viaduct

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 10 at 5:40 PM

SEATTLE -- The latest inspection of the 61-year-old Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle found some new hairline cracks.
 
The Washington Transportation Department says the elevated highway along the waterfront is safe, but vulnerable in an earthquake.
 
A routine inspection was conducted the weekend of March 1-2 and discovered new and widening cracks in the girders and support structure near Spring and Seneca streets.
 
The department said Monday the cracks are a half-mile north of -- and unrelated to -- the machine drilling the Highway 99 replacement tunnel. WSDOT stresses the viaduct is still safe to travel on
 
Spokesman Travis Phelps says no new settling was measured. The viaduct has been regularly inspected since the 2001 Nisqually earthquake and it has settled more than 5 inches at one spot near Yesler Way.
 
The department plans to close the viaduct again on Saturday March 22 for a follow-up inspection, which could take a day. The viaduct will be completed closed during that period. They plan to remove any ivy growing on the viaduct and figure out how to make repairs. They will also look at how heavy trucks going over the viaduct might affect it.

Editor's note: KING previously reported the viaduct follow-up inspection would take three days; WSDOT says the inspection should only take one day.

 

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