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Celebration scheduled to say goodbye to the Alaskan Way Viaduct

Workers paint the lane stripes on the SR99 Waterfront Tunnel (Photo: WSDOT)

SEATTLE - The Alaskan Way Viaduct is not long for this world, but its replacement is nearly complete.

To celebrate the new state Route 99 tunnel -- and to eulogize the outgoing viaduct -- the state Department of Transportation announced Thursday plans for a weekend of events in February.

Seattleites will be invited to take part in a "fun run," a ribbon cutting ceremony, an art festival and a bike ride on the viaduct the weekend of Feb. 2-3, WSDOT said in a news release.

"This family-friendly event is a celebration for the Puget Sound region, and a big step forward for Seattle," said David Sowers, WSDOT deputy administrator of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, in the release. "Event activities span from the stadiums to the Space Needle, so for the best experience, we're encouraging people to plan their weekend and reserve tickets early."

Included in the events will be a chance to walk through the new tunnel, interactive STEM activities at each end of the tunnel and live music and food trucks.

Tickets will be free for much of the weekend's events, but WSDOT has set up a website to register for the events.

Here's the full schedule directly from WSDOT:

Saturday event schedule

WSDOT will kick off the weekend early Saturday morning, Feb. 2, with a community fun run sponsored by the HNTB Corporation. The 8K route will take runners through the new tunnel, on to the viaduct, and through the Battery Street Tunnel.

Officials will then cut a ribbon near the south portal, officially opening North America's largest bored tunnel. At that time, the public can explore:

  • The new SR 99 tunnel.
  • An arts festival featuring over 100 local artists, installations and a community celebration on the viaduct.
  • Community festivals near the stadiums and Seattle Center, with food trucks, live music and STEM activities.
  • An interactive "Excavation Station" presented by Dragados U.S.A. that will show how crews used the tunneling machine Bertha to drill and build the 5-story tunnel under Seattle.

Sunday event schedule

On Sunday, Feb. 3, the weekend celebration closes with a bike ride sponsored by Cascade Bicycle Club. The 12-mile route will give cyclists their only opportunity to ride on both the upper and lower decks of the tunnel and viaduct.

Free and paid registration for events

WSDOT encourages participants to visit the Step Forward website to register for the following weekend events:

  • Free tickets to explore the tunnel and viaduct on Saturday. Those who register gain entry priority.
  • Paid entry to the Saturday morning fun run and/or Sunday morning bike ride. The public must register in advance in order to participate.

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Seattlepi.com is a media partner of KOMO News. Read the original seattlepi.com story ...


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