Removing the viaduct takes some specialized machinery. This one piece that was working near Pike Place Market had a couple of different attachments for the task. The process of switching heads was interesting in itself. A drilling head was used to punch holes through the deck of the viaduct and to remove the material from between the beams. There was also a head that was a cutting jaw. This would grab the side barriers and rip them from the structure. It would crunch through sections and break them in to manageable sizes. The effortless with which this seemingly solid structure was crunch into small pieces was intimidating!
With the new tunnel open under Seattle, the process of getting rid of the Alaska Way Viaduct is underway. Large sections have already gone and others are in the process of being taken own. From the viewing terrace at Pike Place Market, you can get a good view of the demolition at the moment. The sections that have gone are replaced with a space full of dust and rubble. Meanwhile, heavy machinery is in the process of drilling out the viaduct deck and the barriers. There is more to come on this one.