A Message from WSDOT Regarding Ground Settlement

BerthaGood afternoon,

I wanted to send a quick note to let you know the latest information about settlement in Pioneer Square.

We have told you about our settlement monitoring system that we installed as part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project. As we publicly announced last Friday, STP surveyors detected over one inch of ground settlement near the pit Seattle Tunnel Partners is building to access and repair the tunneling machine. We have also seen settlement on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and some of the buildings that we are monitoring; the amount of settlement lessens in the surrounding area.

Most of the settlement we’ve detected has been uniform, which usually means little to no damage to buildings and utilities. Engineers have been walking through the Pioneer Square neighborhood since we first learned of the new settlement. They have not seen any signs of new damage so far. An inspection team that includes an architect with historic building experience has been conducting interior building surveys since Monday and will continue over the next couple of weeks. If you have seen any recent changes in your building, such as new cracks or lengthening of cracks, sticking doors and windows or utility problems, please email us so we can set up an appointment.

Additionally, we have stepped up our monitoring frequency. Deep survey control points are checked approximately every other day and buildings and various points on the ground are surveyed once a day. Since Dec. 1, STP has not seen any appreciable change in settlement. Based on this, it appears that additional settlement is not occurring, though we will continue to closely monitor the situation.

At this time, Seattle Tunnel Partners is maintaining their dewatering system – and water levels remain static. However, they have stopped excavation until we can verify the new data. We will let you know when excavation resumes.

As for the crack in King Street, Seattle Tunnel Partners checked the site with ground-penetrating radar Thursday afternoon. While we are still awaiting the report, no voids were detected under the pavement.

If you have concerns about your building, property or utilities, please do not hesitate to call our hotline at 1-888-298-5463 or email us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov.

Regards,

Todd

 

Todd V. Trepanier, PE
Administrator
Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program

Tunnel Project Update

BerthaWSDOT and Seattle Tunnel Partners conducted additional survey work early Sunday morning (12/7/2014) to further assess the amount and extent of settlement that recently occurred on and near the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Some of the data was inconclusive and analysis is still underway; however, WSDOT observed that a small amount of differential settlement is occurring near the access pit. Differential settlement is when the ground settles unevenly over an area. When the ground settles evenly or uniformly over an area, there is less risk of damage.

The additional survey work did not find that the differential settlement has caused any new damage to the viaduct nor have we observed any damage to buildings or utilities in the surrounding area. On-the-ground surveys will continue this week by historic architects and structural engineers.

Public safety is our top priority and while we have not seen any damage, Seattle Tunnel Partners is taking the prudent step to stop dewatering. The contractor will work with its geostructural designer to stop the dewatering in a deliberate manner in order to ensure worker safety and the structural integrity of the access pit and surrounding structures.

Data analysis, collection and monitoring will continue and we will provide updates as we have new information to share.

Downtown Streetcar Open House Tomorrow (11/19/14)

Streetcar at Jackson & Occidental

SDOT is holding an open house on the Center City Streetcar project tomorrow evening – covering the City Council approved segment that would tie the South Lake Union and the First Hill streetcar lines together.

The open house will be from 5:00 – 7:30 PM, Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 85 Pike Street, on the 3rd floor of the Economy Building.

This streetcar line will operate in its own lane on First Avenue (to ensure fast, reliable service) with trains arriving every 5 minutes. Stops are planned near Pike Place Market, the Marion Street Bridge to the ferries at Colman Dock and Pioneer Square.

Project staff will present information on urban design opportunities, connection options between First Avenue and Westlake, parking strategies and construction phasing throughout the event. Please drop in anytime between 5:00 and 7:30PM to find out about this exciting connection in Seattle’s future.