SEATTLE – It’s day two of demolition of the Alaskan Way viaduct and already those who live and work by the construction are struggling with the commotion.
“With this, you’re just doing everything you can to block noise, and light, and sound, but it’s impossible,” said Sharyse Tacy, who lives in an apartment complex that neighbors the construction on the Columbia on-ramp.
“It’s impossible, yeah, so you just get up when it starts.”
Demolition officially began on Friday and is expected to last roughly six months, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Businesses, too, said they’re having a harder time attracting customers with the noise outside their windows.
“They sit, and then they shake, and they go, Ahh, they leave, like they [are] eating, and then they pack to go, and they leave,” said Supawade Boonyatipanon, who manages Mae Phim Thai on Columbia.
Boonyatipanon said they first felt the economic impact of construction last year when the City renovated the sidewalk outside her restaurant.
She said she saw a significant drop in profit with that project and fears this could be worse.
“That’s why I don’t think people are going to come, yeah,” said Boonyatipanon inside an open, but empty seating area.
And on Saturday, the loud commotion caused her to close her doors early.
“Today, we have to close,” said Boonyatipanon, who has managed the restaurant for twelve years and fears the ongoing construction could cause her to close the restaurant for good.
Residents and businesses will likely continue to feel the pains of proximity to the viaduct through the six-month project as crews move section by section.
WSDOT said the demolition will be “unavoidably disruptive,” but added crews will likely spend no more than 30 days working in a given area.
Currently, the contractor - Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. – is working on two sections, at 1st/Columbia and Alaskan Way South/Pike Street.
According to WSDOT, the demolition contract requires Kiewit “to protect buildings, streets and utilities as they complete their work. They also must keep businesses open and people moving.”
WSDOT is project to clear the viaduct along the central waterfront by June.