Seattle vacation planning - am I in the construction zone?
March 24, 2014 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Will my planned Seattle vacation rental be in the construction zone for the Alaskan Way?

We are looking at renting a condo in the Harbor Steps apartment building (1221 1st Ave.) or near there for a vacation in August. I know there is a massive project going on with the highway - will this condo be in/near the construction zone? I'm picturing the waterfront views with pile-drivers and jackhammers.
posted by Mid to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (6 answers total)
Seattle waterfront viaduct demolition is not scheduled to begin until 2016, so you should be good!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:01 PM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

To add on to Blue Jello Elf's point...demolition won't have started, but they regularly do repairs on the sinking viaduct these days. The dates aren't always announced ahead of time. That said, I wouldn't anticipate any repair work getting in your way. If you're high enough to have a view of the water, you'd probably be too high to really see the construction; if you're low enough to see it you wouldn't have had much of a view anyway. (The Harbor Steps are 1 block away from the viaduct, though not necessarily the section that would need repair work.) I have friends who live down there and they haven't mentioned any noise from the ongoing work. Have fun!
posted by leitmotif at 8:36 PM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

There is a giant earth-boring machine on the waterfront, about to bore a giant hole for a tunnel. Unfortunately, it seems to be stuck. Or broken. Or something. It might actually add to your vacation if you're fond of the "Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair" sort of thing.

Hope you're planning to ride the ferries! And if you want a great, short road trip (rent a car), drive north on Chuckanut Drive and have a beer in Bellingham. Or a coffee. A city ordinance requires either an artisanal espresso shop or an artisanal brewery every two blocks.

Summer is usually lovely -- have a wonderful time.
posted by kestralwing at 8:39 PM on March 24, 2014

The Harbor Steps condos are really nice-that's where my company puts people (including me when I moved here) up for short-term relocation. And the location is great, easily walkable to anywhere between Belltown and Pioneer Square, and to Capitol Hill if you can stomach the hills.
posted by Kwine at 7:04 AM on March 25, 2014

I lived in those apartments for several years. 1221 was actually my building (there are four). The "Steps" part is a 2-3 story rise from Western Ave. on the west side to First Ave. Apartments in 1221 are on the First Ave. side, so even the second-floor apartments are above the level of the viaduct.

If you're on the south side you may wish the viaduct was closed, as there's an exit right underneath your window. The building is pretty well soundproofed, though, so it's not bad.

If the unit is on the west side of the building, and it has a view, you're not going to want to spend much time there during August anyway. Very few Seattle residences have air conditioning, because aside from, you guessed it, a couple of weeks in August, nobody needs it. However, the west side apartments get brutally hot. I was on the southeast corner so I could get a cross-breeze plus had less sun, and I still generally found other places to be before sundown (which will be around nine p.m.).

It's a nice spot, and it's going to be fine. Enjoy!
posted by five toed sloth at 8:30 AM on March 25, 2014

You should be good so far as unobstructed views are concerned (like others said, you'll be high above it) although there is a good deal of street construction down below. It's a little gnarled getting through Alaskan way right now, but you'll (presumably) be going down there on foot so there shouldn't be any problems navigating through the various road detours and whatnot.

The bottom line is, no matter what's going on down below (depending on where the unit is located in the building) you'll have a beautiful view of Elliot Bay. Enjoy!
posted by Tevin at 10:45 AM on March 25, 2014

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