Thousands celebrate new traffic tunnel in Seattle with race

SEATTLE (AP) — Nearly 30,000 people are celebrating the imminent opening of a four-lane traffic tunnel in Seattle with a race that takes participants through it.

The tunnel opens to traffic on Monday and replaces an aging, double-decker viaduct that carried about 90,000 vehicles a day.

The viaduct was damaged in a 2001 earthquake and replacing it with a tunnel will allow Seattle to reimagine its waterfront with new parks, paths and other amenities.

But Seattle commuters dealt with a month of nightmare traffic during a when the viaduct was closed and the tunnel was not yet ready.

Washington transportation authorities say more than 29,000 people are taking part in the walk and run through the new tunnel Saturday.