3 votes

Alaskan Way Viaduct


Aerial View Of Alaskan Way Viaduct, Which Starts At Left Of Rail Yards, Becomes Double-Deck Viaduct Close To Coast Guard Yard Just Above Rail Yards, And Proceeds Along Shoreline Up Into Middle Of Picture.

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #197283

Street Views 


This concrete viaduct carries three lanes in each direction of WA 99 on two decks. It has widely been considered an ugly eyesore along the waterfront, but provides drivers with great views of Elliott Bay, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

It was significantly damaged in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake and is at risk of collapsing in another major earthquake. In 2009--after years of debate over the design of its replacement--an agreement was reached to replace it with a bored tunnel under Downtown Seattle, which is scheduled to be complete in 2018.

Part of the viaduct on the south end was demolished in 2011 to make way for construction of the south tunnel portal, with traffic temporarily re-routed around the construction site. The rest of the viaduct will be demolished in 2018.


Double-deck stringer bridge running parallel to Alaskan Way along Seattle waterfront
Seattle, King County, Washington
Demolished 2019
Built 1953; rehabilitated 1957; replaced 2010-2019
- George Stevens (Bridge Engineer - WSDOT)
- MacRae Brothers (Contractor)
- Morrison-Knudsen Co. of Boise, Idaho (Contractor)
- Ralph W. Finke of Olympia, Washington (City Engineer - Seattle)
- Ray M. Murray (Engineer)
Concrete stringer
Length of largest span: 63.0 ft.
Total length: 10,704.6 ft. (2.0 mi.)
Deck width: 40.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.60127, -122.33593   (decimal degrees)
47°36'05" N, 122°20'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/549917/5272198 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Seattle South
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
Inventory number
BH 48615 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 92 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 2, 2020: New photo from Patrick Gurwell
  • April 16, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • November 10, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • October 24, 2017: New Street View added by Matthew
  • January 13, 2014: Updated by Evin Fairchild: adding more info to the description
  • January 12, 2014: Updated by Evin Fairchild: adding and correcting info
  • April 12, 2011: Added by K. A. Erickson

Related Bridges 



Alaskan Way Viaduct
Posted January 12, 2019, by Richard Doody (rpdoody3 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Alaska Way Viaduct was closed to traffic at 10:00 PM PST, Friday, January 11, 2019. The current schedule calls for demolition and removal of the structure to be completed in 2023.

Alaskan Way Viaduct
Posted January 13, 2014, by Evin Fairchild (evindfair [at] gmail [dot] com)

A few of the pictures here are of the north portal of the Battery Street Tunnel. Since there is a separate page for the tunnel, those pictures should be moved there.