- Oct 30, 2009
VIDEO: Seattle earthquake viaduct simulation released; timing politically motivated?
Alaskan Way Viaduct earthquake simulation -- Click above to watch video
The Alaskan Way Viaduct (AWV) is an elevated roadway running along the Elliot Bay Waterway in Seattle. An earthquake in 2001 damaged the viaduct, and the structural degradation has only gotten worse over the years. To forestall the possibility of having the conduit collapse in another natural disaster, the city and Port of Seattle, King County, and the state government agreed earlier this year to dig a deep-bore tunnel to go under the waterway and eventually shut down the viaduct.
According to the Seattle Times, the tunnel is a contentious issue, with residents fervently pro and against. Two years ago, though, the state commissioned a video to show what would happen to the AWV if another serious earthquake hit. The six-minute CGI video that resulted could be a clip right out of the disaster movie 2012, and because of its sensationalism, it was never shown. Seattle resident Elizabeth Campbell doesn't want the tunnel and recently requested to have the video released. After saying that Campbell wouldn't get it for eight months, the city put the video on a local news show – and Campbell still hasn't received her copy.
Naturally, there's some political intrigue to accompany everything. The problem is that there's a mayoral race happening right now, with the current mayor siding for the tunnel and his opponent is against it. It has therefore been suggested that the video has been released in order to help that current mayor's campaign – you would not want to be anywhere near the AWV and phrases like "liquefied soil" if the video is anywhere close to reality. Whether it will affect votes remains to be seen. Either way, you can check out the video footage for yourself after the jump.
[Source: Seattle Times]