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Sound Transit light rail dig between downtown and Hill reveals pieces of old Seattle — UPDATE

A section of old boardwalk from Seattle’s past is carefully lifted to the surface. (Image: Sound Transit)

Sound Transit has posted a report and pictures from the discovery of artifacts buried in the late 1800s and unearthed during recent digging to create the tunnel boring machine retrieval shaft near the Paramount Theater on Pine. More images can be found on the Sound Transit Facebook page. Meanwhile, the Seattle PI has a gorgeous set of images showing some of the most impressive finds.

Sound Transit engineers had told CHS that they expected to find relics during excavation at the Pine site but hold no such hopes for the area around the Broadway station as our part of the city didn’t go through the same regrading process as downtown.

With the arrival of the giant crane, and tunnel boring machines moving into place, Sound Transit contractors are moving closer to the tunneling phase when three machines will bore tunnels from Montlake, under Volunteer Park and through to Broadway and from Broadway to downtown as part of the $1.9 billion project. You can see the tunneling routes and more about the tunnel boring machines, here. Sound Transit has said it is planning community activities to mark the start of tunneling.  You can meet with ST reps on April 20th at Broadway and Denny’s Peet’s Coffee to discuss the project and Broadway station construction.


Sound Transit uncovers pieces of Seattle’s history while building for the future

April 14, 2011

University Link contractors unearth historic boardwalk, other artifacts

Sound Transit contractors building the University Link light rail expansion recently unearthed features from the original neighborhood 38 feet below the corner of Pine Street and Terry Avenue in Seattle. Construction crews and archaeologists carefully uncovered a section of original boardwalk about 33 feet long and also discovered other artifacts dating to the late 1800s.

Based on historic maps, photographs, and literature, archaeologists believe that the boardwalk dates to Seattle’s early development years when buildings in this area were primarily residential and sparsely located on big lots. Archeologists believe the boardwalk was most likely buried during the Denny Regrade between 1905 and 1910 when massive amounts of earth were moved around downtown Seattle.

Other artifacts, including the top of a Rainier beer bottle, 31 shoes of different sizes, pieces of furniture, dishes, and other household goods were also recovered from the site. Based on previous work in the area, Sound Transit anticipated uncovering historical artifacts at the site and developed a treatment plan in consultation with the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation prior to excavation. Sound Transit is working with the Burke Museum for final curation of the materials.

The job site is where Sound Transit will retrieve the tunnel boring machine that will dig twin tunnels from Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle as part of the 3.1-mile University Link light rail expansion project between downtown Seattle and the University of Washington. The line is scheduled to open in 2016.

See the Sound Transit Facebook page for photos and more information:!/album.php?aid=307383&id=48453323978

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Donnie Dill
Donnie Dill
9 years ago

Wow, this is just awesome. I can’t believe these objects are still preserved. It sure does paint a picture of old Seattle history. Can’t wait to see the artifacts up close and in person!