SEATTLE – For a few hours, the nine-day closure of Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct proved to be a bit of gawking and sentimental fun.
About 3,200 people strolled on the elevated highway Saturday, the first full day of the nine-day closure, said KaDeena Yerkan of the state Department of Transportation
The people walked the highway as crews continue demolishing the southern end of the aging and earthquake- vulnerable elevated road that runs along the waterfront. Yerkan said crews have demolished about a couple of hundred yards of concrete and metal as of Saturday afternoon.
But local residents took advantage of the public opening, some making the occasion a sentimental one. One person hung a sign thanking the old highway for its service. Another woman collected one of the lane dividers. A roller derby team and a motorcycle stunt team had free range of the highway for 30 minutes after winning a contest.
Gov. Chris Gregoire and other lawmakers were also present to commemorate the start of the demolition.
No foul play seen in White’s death
OLYMPIA – Kittitas County Sheriff Gene Dana said there was no sign of foul play in the death of Washington Senate Majority Whip Scott White, but that authorities are investigating because it remains unexplained.
Housekeeping staff at the Suncadia Resort found White on Friday after he failed to check out of his room. An autopsy is planned.
The Democrat represented the state’s 46th District, covering northern parts of Seattle.
His wife, Alison Carl White, released a statement Saturday thanking the public for their support.
“He was a tremendous husband, father and public official, and we are deeply moved by the nobility and honor with which his professional accomplishments are remembered,” she said.
The family said donations can be made in White’s memory to Wedgewood Elementary PTSA, EarthCorps or to the Scott White Memorial Fund, an education fund set up for his two children. The statement said a public memorial will be held this week.