SEATTLE, Wash. — A day after it officially closed forever, hundreds of people trespassed onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct Saturday evening.
The iconic highway closed to the public late Friday night, but on Saturday people walked past barricades to enjoy the sunset.
“You think that caution tape is hard to get across,” said David Freedel, sarcastically.
Freedel walked along the viaduct with Joni Durtschi during the sunset.
“The view is beautiful. We came over by Western Avenue. We walked it all the way from Western over,” said Durtschi.
Around 4 p.m., we witnessed kids, adults with pets and strollers, and cyclists along the viaduct.
The Washington State Department of Transportation learned about the trespassing just before 4 p.m. With assistance from Seattle Police they worked to usher people off the viaduct.
“Entering the bridge is trespassing. You’re breaking the law. Please for your own safety and the safety of others please stay off the structure until February 2nd,” said Brian Nielsen, Alaskan Viaduct Program Administrator.
By 6 p.m., Seattle police said everyone had left the highway and the 1st & Seneca on-ramp was guarded by a police officer.
“We are going to be manning all of the entrance points to the viaduct with Seattle Police and with traffic control laborers,” said Nielsen. “So the viaduct is closed. It has been since 10 o’clock last night and people really need to stay off the viaduct.”
Seattle Police said nobody was injured in accessing the viaduct.
“The railings are low, so getting near the edge is not a safe place for the public to be. So we really are asking the public to be conscious of the fact that the viaduct is closed to all traffic, whether that’s cars, bike, pedestrians, or other modes,” said Nielsen.
Nielsen said the public is encouraged to show up during the February 2nd and 3rd event where the public is allowed access to the viaduct.
According to a WSDOT spokesperson, more than 70 thousand people have already RSVP’d to the event.
“You don’t know if February 2nd is going to be nice. Today was nice in Seattle, so we’re taking it,” said Durtschi.