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Vancouver keeping a close eye on Seattle viaduct construction

Summary

Vancouver sent officials to Seattle to observe what's happening with construction on the Alaskan Way viaduct

This comes as demolition work is set to start on Vancouver's Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts later this year

VANCOUER (NEWS 1130) — While Seattle’s Alaskan Way viaduct is being demolished, Vancouver engineers are taking note.

The City of Vancouver has sent a team down south to see the impact of replacing a structure that carries such heavy volumes of traffic. Seattle’s viaduct carried around 100,000 vehicles per day and its replacement includes a four-lane tunnel. That city’s viaduct work is expected to cause some major delays for the next few weeks.

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Something similar will be starting here soon, with demolition work is set to start on our own Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts later this year. Transportation Director Lon LaClaire says it will be a long process.

“What people will be seeing first is the expansion of Pacific Boulevard into a wider two-way street. After that, we will be looking to demolish the existing viaducts and build the new replacements,” he says.

The project will be difficult, but the city is up to the task, he says.

“It’s not without its challenges, but it is something that we feel is going to be manageable, and once it’s open, the replacement road network should be far superior to the existing road network,” he says.

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Vancouver’s viaducts carry around half that many vehicles, around 45,000 vehicles every day, and those will have to be rerouted. LaClaire says Pacific Boulevard will be expanded to help ease immediate congestion.

The space left behind will be filled with social housing, parks and public spaces.