WSDOT says sinking viaduct isn’t a threat

The Seattle TimesFebruary 25, 2014 

Looking north along the State Route 99 corridor toward downtown Seattle, April 2012. (WSDOT)

WSDOT

State officials are trying to assuage public worry about the safety of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in the wake of reports that sections of the elevated highway are sagging slightly.

The section around Yesler Way has settled up to four-tenths of an inch following work by Seattle Tunnel Partners, said Todd Trepanier, Highway 99 administrator for the state Department of Transportation.

He said the causes were construction of a nearby buried concrete block, called a “safe haven,” where tunnel boring machine Bertha can stop for maintenance; and the loss of groundwater in December, when STP was pumping water away to allow for safe inspections of Bertha’s clogged cutter head.

“That settlement does not endanger the Viaduct or bring it closer to closure,” he told reporters at noon today.

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