WASHINGTON, D.C. — The groundbreaking Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program in Seattle has won the 2019 “Grand Conceptor” Award signifying the year’s most outstanding engineering achievement in the 53rd annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA)—a national juried competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).
More than 800 attended Tuesday night’s black-tie EEA Gala in Washington, D.C. hosted by Emmy award-winning comedian Ross Shafer where 196 preeminent engineering accomplishments from throughout the nation and the world were honored.
Produced by engineering firm WSP USA, the project replaced one of Seattle’s most earthquake vulnerable highways with a 1.7-mile underground tunnel containing a state-of-the-art earthquake-resilient double-deck thoroughfare.
Located 200-feet beneath downtown, and within a highly active seismic region, the new tunnel has a revolutionary flexible concrete core that combines with its underground location to make it capable of withstanding a 9.0 earthquake.
Pioneering ventilation and fire control systems also make the tunnel one of the safest structures of its type in the world. Additionally, the project eliminates a half-century-old barrier separating downtown from its waterfront to pave the way for nine new acres of public-friendly space.
The new underground tunnel joins the Bayonne Bridge, Staten Island, NY (2018); the SR520 Floating Bridge Replacement, Seattle (2017); and the San Francisco Airport Air Traffic Control Tower, (2016) as recent distinguished ACEC Grand Conceptor Award winners.
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