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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Seawall Project Concludes Construction for Summer along Central Waterfront

5/22/2014  3:00:00 PM

Seawall Project Concludes Construction for Summer along Central Waterfront
Completes first season of construction on schedule, add parking for visitors

SEATTLE – The Elliott Bay Seawall Project reached a significant milestone this week by wrapping up major construction along the central waterfront ahead of Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer tourist season.

All waterfront businesses and attractions will be open as usual this summer, and approximately 90 additional on-street parking spaces will be open for Memorial Day weekend and remain in place until construction resumes in the vicinity of the historic piers on October 1.

“We’ve made tremendous progress on seawall construction since November, achieving every major milestone established for this first phase of work,” said Goran Sparrman, interim director of the Seattle Department of Transportation. “We will continue our close coordination with waterfront businesses and are pleased to be adding approximately 90 additional parking spaces for the season to help their customers.”

The Elliott Bay Seawall Project began construction in November 2013 and has met all major milestones to date. Key construction accomplishments include:

  • Construction of seven new blocks of roadway and 10 new traffic signals under the Alaskan Way Viaduct in January;
  • Relocation of the 85,000-pound historic Washington Street Boat Landing pergola in February;
  • Installation of 1,635 feet of sheet pile barrier to protect Elliott Bay and migrating salmon from upland construction in March;
  • Relocation of the Colman Dock entrance at Yelser Way, maintaining access throughout construction for thousands of daily ferry passengers; and
  • Reopening of parking in the central waterfront for the summer.

“It took a long time to get the seawall project started, but now that it is under way, it is going smoothly,” said Ivar’s ‎President Bob Donegan. “We hear from and meet with the seawall team almost every day and the city has met its promise to have major construction completed in time for the good weather, cruise ships and our busiest time of the year. We look forward to a successful 2014 season and will have Dancing Clams greeting tourists on the waterfront all summer long.”

Throughout construction, all pedestrian paths and vehicle paths to the waterfront remain in place, so locals and visitors alike can easily access their favorite waterfront destinations.

“The Seattle Aquarium welcomes approximately 800,000 local and out of town visitors per year. Summer is our peak season, and while we look forward to limited construction from June to September, we also want to emphasize that the Seattle Aquarium will remain open this fall and throughout the duration of seawall construction,” said Bob Davidson, president and CEO of the Seattle Aquarium. “Our goal is to ensure the Aquarium remains vibrant, active and accessible throughout construction. We look forward to continued coordination with the city and other waterfront businesses to make this happen.”

While no construction will take place at Waterfront Park this summer, a small area of existing seawall will remain exposed but fenced off throughout the summer, providing an opportunity for visitors to the waterfront to have a glimpse inside a unique, once-in-a-generation construction project. Seawall construction will continue south of Colman Dock throughout the summer.

The Elliott Bay Seawall Project will replace the existing seawall with a structure that meets current safety and design standards. It will be the foundation of the current and future waterfront, supporting and protecting major utilities, including power, regional telecommunications, gas, sewer and water; SR 99; the BNSF railway; as well as the future features of the Waterfront Seattle Program.



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