WSDOT engineer Tim Moore speaks on viaduct replacement project

Hannah Gabel, Staff Writer


New Cebula Hall received a special guest visit from Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) engineer Tim Moore on Sept. 27. The presentation started out with a provided dinner and social hour in the evening before guests and engineers shuffled to their seats for the presentation. Moore visited New Cebula Hall to deliver his presentation on the tunnel system in Seattle that is currently being constructed. The tunneling system is a replacement for the original Alaskan Way Viaduct, a project started in 2013.

WSDOT is an organization that works on making traffic and transportation accessible, as well as convenient and safe by providing new bridges, designing tunnels, and working on efficient connections throughout all of Washington. Moore helped work on large projects, such as the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge as well as various other bridges throughout Seattle, Tacoma, and Puyallup. With his visit, students gained direct contact with WSDOT, an organization that has strong ties with the engineering students of Saint Martin’s for potential internships, references for further education or an opportunity for a future career. Moore educated students and guests alike about upcoming projects that are underway, including projects that graduating students could be involved with soon.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is an elevated highway in Seattle that was completed in 1953. Carrying over 100,000 cars every day, the highway is imperative to helping guide traffic throughout the busy city. After a damaging earthquake in 2001, the viaduct needed to be demolished and removed, a process that began in 2011. In 2013, the construction of a replacement tunnel began. The tunnel is not expected to be finished until 2019, when it will open to the public. The new design of the tunnel is supposed to provide more stability and strength, especially in the face of another severe earthquake. This will enable further protection to commuters throughout Washington and provide a safer route of travel than a typical bridge can provide.

This tunnel provides potential job opportunities for the engineering students of Saint Martin’s University. Moore explained the project for students to understand and have direct contact with the type of work they will most likely be doing when they start their future careers. This tunnel will provide a safer route of transportation, especially in the face of a natural disaster. The new tunnel will be better suited to survive an earthquake than the old viaduct was. Once the construction is complete, there will be more efficient connections throughout Seattle to potentially cut back on excessive traffic build up, helping to guide commuters more smoothly by providing multiple routes for travel. Individuals of all backgrounds look forward to the construction of the tunnel, as well as appreciate Tim Moore’s hand in the project to help make travel a little bit safer throughout Washington.


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