Historic or hazardous? Seattle debates status of 1953 viaduct

07/10/2008 | SeattlePI.com

From Gov. Chris Gregoire to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Washington state politicians are eager to tear down the 2.2-mile Alaskan Way Viaduct that creates a visual barrier -- and a possible earthquake hazard -- along Seattle's waterfront. But land-use consultant Art Skolnik says the double-deck structure was hailed as a "very clever" bit of engineering when it was completed in 1953, and he is pushing for a retrofit rather than a replacement. Skolnik wants to place the viaduct on the National Register of Historic Places, making it much harder for politicians to tear the structure down and redirect traffic to city streets.

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