You may have seen media coverage on Friday regarding ground settlement and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The Washington State Department of Transportation asked us to post the following message for neighbors who might be concerned about potential effects to Pioneer Square:
Public safety is WSDOT’s top priority, which is why we installed a state-of-the-art settlement monitoring system as part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project. Recently, that system detected approximately one inch of ground settlement near the pit Seattle Tunnel Partners is building to access and repair the tunneling machine. We have also seen the same amount of settlement on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, with lesser amounts of settlement detected in the surrounding area.
Some settlement was expected during tunnel construction and while the tunneling machine repair work was underway. This settlement appears to have occurred in the last month.
We have conducted visual inspections in the neighborhood and around the viaduct and have not observed any effect on buildings or utilities in the surrounding area or the viaduct. WSDOT crews are conducting additional surveys this weekend to verify this information, including an inspection of the viaduct and a visual inspection of adjacent areas.
While we are conducting this additional work, we are confident that there is no risk to public safety. We are coordinating closely with neighborhood representatives and the appropriate historic preservation organizations as we gather more information. We will continue to provide regular updates at www.alaskanwayviaduct.org.
If you have questions or concerns about this issue over the weekend, please contact David Sowers, WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program deputy administrator, at 206-713-0686.