There was a minor hubbub in the office yesterday when the news came in that a piece of the Alaskan Way Viaduct—the noisy elevated highway that affronts the Seattle shoreline—had collapsed. Clark ran down to check out the scene, and it turned out to be a fairly minor incident, as such things go: a car had knocked loose a piece of concrete guardrail onto the sidewalk about 50 feet below. (If you look carefully at the picture to the right, you can see a piece of the missing guardrail.) Thankfully, nobody was hurt. The driver sped away, so we can’t know how badly the vehicle fared; but it’s quite possible that the Viaduct sustained more damage than the car.
Of course, when the news first circulated—“a piece of the viaduct fell”—we feared the worst. But there were no injuries, and traffic was essentially uninterrupted. Still, it’s an important reminder: the Viaduct is so old and brittle, at this point it just can’t be considered a permanent fixture of the Seattle waterfront. Eventually it will have to come down; it’s just a question of whether it’s an accident or a conscious choice.
That’s what Clark argues in this documentary, anyway. That’s right, fresh off his appearance in the NYTimes Style section, Clark’s featured in a documentary, by David Wheeler of Tall Thought Productions, about the Viaduct controversy. It’s a nice piece of work—if you’re a Viaduct junkie (or even if you’re just curious about the issues) it’s definitely worth checking out.