Newspaper Article Archive of
West Seattle Herald
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Newspaper Article Archive of
West Seattle Herald

June 8, 2017 A light at the end of the tunnel project -- Washington State Department of Transportation’s Joe Hedges speaks at West Seattle Chamber luncheon
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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:


By Lindsay Peyton

Replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel through the center of Seattle has been a monumental job.

Joe Hedges, Washington State Department of Transportation’s administrator of the project, compared the task with another giant step during his address to the West Seattle Chamber on Thursday, June 8.

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“It was deemed to be, in the tunneling world, going to the moon,” he said.

Hedges added that the $1.4 billion tunnel, which is 60-ft. in diameter and 5 stories high, is “within the five top projects in the nation right now.”

The structure will house a two-story, two-lane road with 8-ft. shoulders. A ventilation system will extract 1.14 billion cubic feet of air per minute.

“A tunnel this diameter has never been bored in soft dirt before – the first of it’s kind,” Hedges said.

In fact, he believes that the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement has been inspiring to others in construction and engineering industries.

“Seattle’s set the new gold standard for tunnels,” Hedges said.” As a result, the interest in tunneling is piquing.”

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