Seattle residents who live along the Alaskan Way Viaduct are watching their neighborhood transform as demolition teams chew through concrete and rebar. The area already looks and sounds very different without the double-decker roadway and all its traffic.
“It's progress,” said Patty Kreeger, who lives in an apartment overlooking the demolition site. “It’s terrific progress.”
Usually, neighbors grumble when heavy machines and workers in neon vests take over a block. All the dust, noise, and roadblocks can cause a headache for residents.
But Patty Kreeger and her husband have a different perspective.
“You really get just enamored by what goes on,” Elliott Kreeger said.
“It's mesmerizing,” Patty Kreeger said. “We've been crazy about it for weeks.”
Patty Kreeger has been enjoying the scene so much she posted a bright sign in her window that reads, “THANKS, GREAT JOB!” She wants workers to see someone appreciates their hard work.
Elliott Kreeger has been photographing the progress from their balcony. His pictures are some of the last images anyone will see of the old viaduct as it crumbles and is trucked away to fill the defunct Battery Street Tunnel.
Crews have demolished more than 10 million pounds of pavement on the north section of the viaduct, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Now they're chewing through what they call the "meaty middle," the double-deck structure that carried cars, trucks, and buses for 65 years.
Even with all the activity below their home, the Kreegers said they'd noticed a difference in noise.
“It is so much less than the actual traffic that used to appear on the viaduct,” Patty Kreeger said.
Demolition work is expected to take about five more months, according to WSDOT. Crews are also working on a section of roadway near Columbia Street.
Editor’s note: View the video above in the YouTube app on a mobile device and tilt the device to move around within the video. Watch it on a virtual reality headset or Google Cardboard to experience it in 3D.