Alps' Roads Special - Seattle Road Meet

Seattle Road Meet, October 25, 2014

I organized this meet as the culmination of a 2-week trip to the West Coast, bringing people together for a tour of the ongoing SR 99 Tunnel construction and the fated Alaskan Way Viaduct. I do not wish to subject you to two weeks of the usual writeup, so here's a brief recap: I followed WA 99 south into other old US 99 alignments starting in Tacoma, weaving my way between those and I-5 into Oregon and California, down to the Mexican border in Imperial County. From there I headed west to Los Angeles to drive some freeways and see some cool sights like the also-fated 6th Street Viaduct, then started my journey north on CA 1 to San Francisco for a couple of days to see more freeways and more cool sights such as 49 Mile Scenic Drive and the Golden Gate Bridge. I continued north on CA 1 back into US 101, up through Oregon, into Washington, to its end. After exploring the Tacoma and Olympia areas for awhile, I set up in Des Moines for the next two days. The day before the meet, I grabbed I-705 and the stub freeway of WA 7, WA 163, up WA 16 to WA 3 and the west side of WA 104. I slowly made my way down WA 307, WA 305, WA 308, WA 303, WA 304, WA 310, and WA 300, clinching parent WA 3 on my way to WA 108. (Washington uses the first 1-2 digits to number spur routes, so all of the 3xx's are children of 3 and 104/108 are children of US 101.) I then picked up WA 8 on my way back to Tacoma for the 11th St. bridges, then down Portland Ave. to I-5 and then WA 512 back toward Seattle. My evening ended with WA 167 and WA 161, WA 900, back in on parent I-90, then WA 518 to WA 509 and back to my hotel.
Meet day dawned, and my health did not. Doing my best to keep my chin up, I checked out Spokane St. under the West Seattle Bridge along with 188th St. and old bridges (and bridge views) along 15th Ave. W, Fremont Ave., and Eastlake Ave. I headed to the meet at Beth's Cafe via WA 513, WA 522, and WA 523 back to WA 99. Once assembled and satiated, our group headed southeast to WA 513 to get to the Thompson Expressway stubs at WA 520, where we put together this endearing photo with Kaden Love, Jake Bear, myself (disheveled and feeling like death), Kat Malone, and Kacie Delgado:

After this endearing group had their fill of playing on abandoned ramps that would soon be demolished, we headed east on WA 520 across the floating bridge to I-405 and the I-90 floating bridge back into Seattle to this self-proclaimed boring exhibition:

In addition to learning about boring, we learned about the existing viaduct and saw some cool Alaskan Way paraphernalia. It was then time for our tour, which marched out onto the stub end of the old Alaskan Way viaduct to survey the ongoing construction. By this point, the Bertha tunnel boring machine had been stuck underground for 10 months with many more to go before it could be rescued and repaired. Following the tour, we followed WA 519 to I-5 to get to our next stop at the South Park Bridge in Tukwila, which had been recently refurbished with original parts inside. We then headed north on Albro Pl. and up to Columbian Way for old shields, back up I-5 to WA 519 and all the way through the viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel on WA 99 to see Mercer St. construction across the new tunnel portal. We continued west and uphill for views and to see the Ballard Locks and Salmon Bay Bridge. That was all for the meet, and other than capturing some late-night WA 99 video, that was all for me, as my flight left with daybreak the next morning. This was the first meet I held in an area I wasn't familiar with, so I want to thank the attendees for bringing their local expertise and for being willing to go along for the day!

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