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Alaskan Way Tunnel Rendering Seattle

Deepness in Seattle: Washington State Shows off Smart Tunnel

The state of Washington is showing off smart features in the $2.2 billion Alaskan Way tunnel, which is nearing completion in Seattle after years of delays.

“It will be one of the smartest tunnels ever built,” says the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The two-mile tunnel itself is finished and crews finished installing the more than 1,100 panels of the northbound double-deck roadway through the tunnel earlier this month. Work continues on an array of safety equipment that officials claim will make the tunnel one of the “safest in the world.”

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“More than 300 cameras inside will monitor traffic and security,” WSDOT says on its Youtube page. “Automatic ventilation systems will keep air quality and visibility high. Fire suppression systems can automatically spot and activate in a targeted location of a fire.

“An AM/FM override communication system, loudspeakers inside the tunnel and more than 100 programmable traffic signs allow tunnel operators to communicate with travelers,” the department says.

The tunnel will undergo testing this summer, and could be open by fall.

A little boring (pun intended), but you can check in anytime you want on the tunnel’s progress. WSDOT has helpfully installed four webcams that constantly keep an eye on the project. You can watch them here.

About David Royse

David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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