Elliott Bay Seawall Project Releases Environmental Analysis
SEATTLE – Today the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Elliott Bay Seawall Project for public comment. This project milestone complies with the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and provides detailed information on the project purpose and need, seawall replacement alternatives, and their potential effects both during and after construction.
The Draft EIS evaluates a “No Build” alternative 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 document identifies a preferred alternative (“Alternative C”) for seawall replacement. Alternative C provides protection from coastal storms and seismic damages while minimizing environmental impacts. It combines the most beneficial features of the three alternatives (including shorter construction duration) and maximizes habitat restoration and upland improvements in a cost effective manner.
SDOT is seeking comments from the public on the Draft EIS during the 30-day comment period. The document can be accessed in a variety of ways including via the project website at
Comments will be accepted online, via email to seawallDEIS@seattle.gov, or in writing to Elliott Bay Seawall Project Draft EIS Comments, c/o Mark Mazzola, Seattle Department of Transportation, PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA 98124-4996. Comments can also be made in person at a public open house to be held December 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Bell Harbor Conference Center’s Maritime Events Center. Comments must be postmarked no later than December 13, 2012.
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.
Last week Seattle voters approved a $290 million bond measure that provides $240 million in funding for Phase 1 (South Washington Street to Virginia Street) of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project. With funding secured, SDOT is moving forward to complete design and secure the environmental clearances and permits necessary to start construction in fall of 2013. On Friday, November 9, SDOT selected the highest ranked proposer, joint venture Mortenson/Manson, as the general contractor and construction manager (GC/CM) for the project.