Sunday, April 28, 2019

Heavy Equipment Heaven

4/25/19 Viaduct demolition between Marion and Madison

Although the project is apparently behind schedule, demolition of Seattle’s viaduct has been ongoing since March. I’ve been waiting for it to warm up a bit to get down there to sketch the destruction. On Thursday the temperature was supposed reach the high 50s, so Greg and I checked it out. We went to the same area where I had made my farewell sketch of the viaduct last December.

I thought I had died and gone to heavy equipment heaven! I think I can confidently say that Alaskan Way between Marion and Madison streets has the highest concentration of bulldozers, excavators and cranes (and other things I can’t name) in the city. I couldn’t even count them all, but I saw things I’d never seen before, including a whole fleet of mint green machines bearing the FERMA logo. Specialty equipment must have been brought in just for this job, which is a huge mess of concrete, dust, rebar and metal.

For the first sketch, I stood on the ferry terminal pedestrian overpass. It was overwhelmingly challenging to capture the scope of everything going on. Although most of the viaduct is still standing, it’s strange to see large chunks of it gone. The area already seems brighter.

I went to the street level for a closer look. Mesmerized, I watched the monsters gobble up debris, swivel, and barf it all out onto growing mountains. Over and over. They move surprisingly fast for such huge beasts, but I caught a couple making repetitive gestures.

I’ll be back for more!

Big chunks of the viaduct are gone.

Just a couple of the many hungry beasts waiting to gobble
up the viaduct.

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