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The Alaskan Way Viaduct is a raised roadway that carries two decks of busy Highway 99 traffic around the perimeter of Seattle's waterfront. It was slightly damaged in an earthquake a few years ago and deciding the best way to address the need to repair or replace it has been, to say the very least, uh . . . controversial. So much so that when a decision was punted from the mayor and city council to the state's governor, she called a special election for an advisory vote of the people. The ballet gave the choice of a rebuild of a similar structure or a tunnel option. Voters on Tuesday voted No and No, rejecting both plans as submitted on the ballet. The democratic process continues to play out as public debate continues and differing factions attempt to regroup to work together on a solution that will meet long-range needs within budgetary constraints.
For those unfamiliar with the Seattle waterfront, this is what the discussion is about.. Looking from the waterfront toward the northeast, the Space Needle just visible through the Belltown jumble of condo high rises, the Public Market buildings are to the right.. The Seattle Aquarium and the Alaskan Way Viaduct are in the foreground. This shot was taken at sunset. I remember vividly the Loma Prieta quake that happened at about this time of day. I worked in San Francisco at the time. Several of my workmates lost their lives or were critically injured when their vanpool home, riding on the top deck of a similar structure in Oakland, CA, was caught in the pancaking action of that double deck freeway's collapse. This is the type of nightmare Seattle is seeking to avoid and to do it in the wisest possible way in environmental, economic, traffic safety, and aesthetic terms. Wish us luck! Seattle Seattle+Daily+PhotoAlaskan+Way+Viaduct Seattle+waterfront Seattle+Aquarium Belltown condos high+risescity+skyline Space+Needle Pike+Place+Public+Market sunset earthquake viaductHighway+99 controversy vote