The viaduct hoopla has intensified in the last few weeks, but the road's demise really began ten years ago with Christine Gregoire. Though the governor planned to take down the freeway by 2012, her vision has just now come to fruition with the new SR 99 tunnel. While KUOW and Cafe Nordo already hosted a wake for the viaduct, the “road rager” is just beginning.
Anticipating the transition, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has a weekend of activities planned. Entitled Step Forward, the event will feature food trucks, live music, and STEM activities. WSDOT will also host the Hello-Goodbye Viaduct Art Festival on February 2 from 12:30pm to 6:30pm. The show will include 100 local artists, musicians, and performers, like Emmett Montgomery, the Fabulous Downey Brothers, Au Collective, and Aubrey DeRush.
Friends of Waterfront Seattle, a nonprofit, will also participate in the festivities with its dance event, WAKE, which takes place on Saturday, February 2 from 2pm to 4pm at the pier between the Great Wheel and Seattle Aquarium. It features members of the Kinesis Project, a local dance troupe known for creating “site-specific” performances and opportunities for audience participation.
If you want to take in some final views of the old road—or walk along the new one—this weekend is your chance. A Tunnel to Viaduct 8k will take place on February 2, with the first runners taking off at 7:30am. Access to the tunnel and viaduct for pedestrians is filling up quickly, with many time slots already booked (it's free, but you have to RSVP). That said, walk-up lines at the Seneca Street ramp will be welcome. Tickets for strictly tunnel access are still available here.