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Crews demolish ramp to Seattle viaduct to prepare for future construction

Crews began demolition of one ramp connected to the aging Seattle viaduct.

Crews did not waste time preparing for the upcoming demolition of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct.

On Saturday, they began by demolishing the northbound on ramp in SoDo, which gave drivers access to the aging piece of Seattle infrastructure. Hours before, drivers clogged the roadway honking, celebrating, and saying goodbye.

Multiple pieces of machinery chipped away at the concrete, as a crowd gathered to watch.

"Brought my boys down to check it out," said Bridget Charters. "Pretty cool."

"It's amazing, all the re-bar and everything, a lot of dust," said Annie Lacroix. "It's going to be a big project."

Credit: KING5
Annie Lacroix and husband Jim Cook watch a small section of the Alaskan Way viaduct being demolished January 12th.

But WSDOT officials note - this was not the official start of demolition. They're only taking down the small section for now to make way for ground construction of S. Dearborn St. It's part of the #Realign99 -- connecting the existing highway to the new tunnel.

Credit: KING5
Dust and rubble fall as crews demolish part of the NB on ramp of the Alaskan Way viaduct. Full demolition will not begin until February.

Still - the noise from the work was deafening.

"Going to be loud for a while, that's for sure," said Lacroix.

Some were happy to see the concrete go - but watching it crumble, Time Time wiped a tear from his eye.

Credit: KING5
Time Time wipes a tear from his eye watching a part of the viaduct crumble. He felt emotional after commuting on it since 1982.

"Since I moved here in 1982, I've been driving through this viaduct every morning and after work," he said. "It's - I'm sorry. I feel like I'm losing someone in my life."

Former Seattle city council member Jan Drago also came to watch.

"It's the beginning of the end for the noisy viaduct that's separated the city from the waterfront for over 50 years," she said.

She called the demolition a "happy day."

"The tunnel project went through a lot of issues," she said. "It may be two years late but that's okay."

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