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2007 Environmental Excellence Awards

For Excellence in Environmental Research:

Alaska Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project

At an early stage of development, sound decision-making and building public consensus are at the forefront of having a successful environmental planning process. The Alaskan Way Viaduct and its support structure, the Alaskan Way Seawall, have a reader-friendly EIS that informed the public of the project's tradeoffs and environmental considerations to generate support for a $4 billion dollar project that will take years to construct in the heart of Seattle's densely developed downtown. By using innovative approaches and inter-agency coordination and advanced planning, the project transportation team blended state, city and consultant staff to create a collaborative, interactive venue for everyone to understand the emerging project issues and offer advice and suggestions that will ultimately make regulatory approval faster and easier. The computer simulations included in the environmental documentation have advanced this approach to a new level by giving detailed, accurate simulations of the finished project and extensive depictions of the construction phase. The state-of-the-art simulations are educational and innovative, providing a jump start into planning and reducing the effects of the project on adjoining neighborhoods. These decision-making and leadership tools that support better public understanding and effective communication showcase a best practice in planning tools for NEPA documents.

Project Contributors:

  • Washington State Department of Transportation
    Ron Paananen
  • Seattle Department of Transportation
    Bob Chandler
  • Federal Highway Administration, Washington Division
    Steve Boch
  • Parsons Brinckerhoff
    Mike Rigsby
  • Parametrix
    David Mattern
  • EnviroIssues
    Amy Grotefendt
Airplane view of Seattle, Washington, Picture of people meeting on the project, Seattle shoreline
Updated: 10/25/2012
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