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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Elliott Bay Seawall Project Releases Final Environmental Analysis

3/15/2013  2:00:00 PM

Elliott Bay Seawall Project Releases Final Environmental Analysis

SEATTLE - Today the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Elliott Bay Seawall Project. The project milestone completes the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process and provides detailed information on the project purpose and need, seawall replacement preferred alternative, and the potential effects both during and after construction.

"I thank Seattle voters for supporting this critical infrastructure project and I congratulate our Department of Transportation for reaching this significant milestone in their work to replace our deteriorating seawall," said Mayor Mike McGinn.

The Final EIS evaluated "No Build" alternatives as well as three "build alternatives" to replace the seawall. The build alternatives provide a range of options for meeting the project’s purpose and need, with variations on the location of the face of the seawall, the structural solution, and the aquatic habitat features and public amenities included as part of the project. The identified preferred alternative ("Alternative C") combines the most beneficial features of ease of construction, while maximizing habitat restoration and upland improvements as a cost-effective alternative minimizing environmental impacts. The Final EIS responds to comments received during a comment period associated with a Draft Environmental Impact Statement released in November 2012.

Requests for copies of the document can be made by emailing, and the document can also be accessed via the project website at

Last November Seattle voters approved a $290 million bond measure that provides $240 million in funding for Phase 1 of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project. SDOT is currently in the process of completing design and is pursuing permits necessary to start construction in fall of 2013.

The Elliott Bay Seawall is a critical piece of infrastructure that supports the downtown Seattle waterfront and adjacent marine and upland structures, including major regional utilities, Alaskan Way, SR 99, Washington State Ferries’ Colman Dock, the BNSF railway, Port of Seattle operations, and various commercial and residential buildings. Replacing the seawall will protect the waterfront from coastal storm damage and seismic damage and will set the stage for the future waterfront. The new seawall would also provide habitat restoration opportunities, transportation infrastructure, and public amenities.

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