Viaduct for Dummies: Occupy the Viaduct

Say a tearful goodbye to the south end of this behemouth next Saturday

I was driving into Seattle mag's SoDo world HQ this morning, gazing up at the Viaduct in all its splendor, when it hit me with a jolt: A huge chunk of that hulking concrete leviathan that has framed my view of Elliot Bay since birth will cease to exist in less than two weeks.

Like many of my co-workers who work in the shadow of the thing, I've been in an agony of logistical contortions of late, getting ready for ViaPocolypse 2011. But it never occurred to me until today that the whole thing could be a big party.

To wit, this item from the DOT website:

Win 30 minutes on the Alaskan Way Viaduct! Win exclusive access to the viaduct during the October closure. Send your entry by Oct. 16. What would you do with 30 minutes on the Alaskan Way Viaduct? WSDOT is sponsoring a contest where one lucky person and 24 of their friends will win access to the viaduct’s downtown section for 30 minutes on Oct. 22. To enter, answer the question "What would I do with 30 minutes on the Alaskan Way Viaduct?" in 100 words or less and send it to by Sunday, Oct. 16.

I read the fine print for you: No alcohol allowed (so there goes that champagne toast).

But here's another sweet idea: Join your fellow Seattleites for a public goodbye (with a goody-bag item that can't be beat):

A commemorative walk on Saturday, October 22nd. During the walk, a portion of the top deck will be open to watch crews tear down the southern mile. As a souvenir, attendees will get to take home a piece of the viaduct. The commemorative walk will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the celebration continuing until 2 p.m. No RSVPs are required, but you must wear sturdy shoes. No pets or bicycles are allowed on the viaduct. Kids under 18 must be with an adult. Parking is available in the fenced construction site just south of Railroad Way South and on adjacent city streets and in nearby pay lots.

Yep, a piece of the Viaduct to take home and put right next to your piece of the Kingdome.