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What's Happening Now? (updated May 16, 2013)
Update on Early Work – May 16, 2013:
Snapshot of work beginning Friday and continuing through next week
Virginia to Pike streets
- Final wrap-up activities, including restoration, street sign installation, equipment removal, and fencing removal.
- Electrical work installing new cables in underground vaults and ducts. Work hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and 6-11 p.m., Tuesday night.
Pike Street to Madison Street
- Around-the-clock work at the University Street intersection was completed today. Traffic and parking has been restored.
- Underground utility work is anticipated to start in a localized area on the west side of Alaskan Way, in front of Pier 57. This work is expected to last several days. There will be sidewalk restrictions and single lane closures in the southbound direction of Alaskan Way to safely accommodate the work. Pedestrian and vehicles detours will be clearly signed.
- Underground utility relocation work near the Pike Street Hillclimb. Working hours are typically 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but may extend up to 10 p.m. in order to be complete by Thursday, May 23. Pedestrians will be re-routed safely around the work zone to the western sidewalk of Alaskan Way via the Pike and Union street crosswalks. The pedestrian pathway will be open over the weekend.
- Electrical work installing new cables in underground vaults and ducts between Pike and Seneca streets. Work hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and 6-11 p.m., Tuesday night.
Madison Street to Yesler Way
- Potential removal of existing utility poles and installation of temporary poles on the east side of Alaskan Way from Madison Street to Yesler Way. Intermittent noise, particularly from vactor trucks, is expected and daytime parking restrictions will be in place.
What can you expect?
- Temporary parking restrictions from Pike to Union streets as underground utility relocation work is completed.
- The eastern sidewalk of Alaskan Way, between Pike and Union streets, will be restricted by underground utility relocation work; pedestrians will be re-routed to the western sidewalk on Alaskan Way. East/west pedestrian access on the sidewalk adjacent to the work zones from Virginia to Pike streets will be maintained at all times. Working hours for this activity are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. Work will be completed by Thursday, May 23.
- Late night work on Tuesday, May 21, for electrical cable installation between 6-11 p.m.
- Steel plates will cover excavated areas after each work day in utility relocation areas.
- All work will be conducted within the public right of way.
- Intermittent noise, particularly from vactor trucks, demolition, increased truck traffic, and restoration activities.
- Access to businesses will be maintained.
Activities on Alaskan Way over the summer
Over the summer months, more limited utility work will occur on Alaskan Way ahead of full construction in the fall. This utility work will occur at individual underground vaults along Alaskan Way between Seneca and Virginia streets and typically involve a utility truck parking on top of a vault with crew members going inside the vault to complete electrical wiring and cable splicing. Other utility work to install overhead wires on the newly installed utility poles will also occur later this summer. Week to week details will be shared as they are known and efforts will be made to complete work in off-hours and in small areas to minimize impacts.
Reminder: construction begins in Fall 2013 – sequencing and schedule
SDOT has made significant progress in planning the logistics of seawall construction along the waterfront between September 2013 and spring 2016. View our presentation to the Seattle City Council from March 11 to see the City’s anticipated construction sequencing plan and schedule.
Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued
As of March 14, 2013, the Final EIS has been issued, which completes the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process. The evaluation of alternatives within the Final EIS enabled SDOT decision-makers, with input from the public, regulatory agencies, and Native American tribes, to consider the environmental impacts of project alternatives in conjunction with factors such as cost, schedule, and feasibility. The full draft and final documents are available on the Environmental Impact Statement page. If you have questions, please email us or call 206-618-8584.
Recent Seawall ballot measure (“City of Seattle Proposition 1”)
As of November 6, 2012, a $290 million bond measure, which includes $240 million intended to fund Phase 1 of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project (from Washington Street to Virginia Street) was approved by voters. We appreciate voters’ recognition of the need to fund the replacement of this critical piece of infrastructure and are committed to keeping this project on time and within budget, while simultaneously maintaining a vibrant waterfront throughout the upcoming construction process. See the Project Overview to learn more about the project. The election is slated for certification on November 27, 2012.
For information related to the ballot measure, please see:
Council Ordinance Number 123922
What’s beneath your feet?
Stroll down to Pier 62/63, and you’ll see that SDOT has installed a “Light Penetrating Surfaces Study”as part of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project. Three test surfaces have been installed in the pier’s wooden decking: steel grating, glass planks, and a light tube. These surfaces could help increase the amount of natural light reaching the water of Elliott Bay, an important part of a healthy ecosystem. By minimizing the light to dark contrast that overwater structures – like piers and walkways – create, light penetrating surfaces can improve habitat diversity and salmon migration along our shoreline.
Each of these surfaces could be installed along the future seawall. They are being compared to understand their effectiveness at transmitting light. Take a walk to Pier 62/63 to see these light penetrating surfaces in action!
“British Invasion…Otterly Amazing.” Find out more at Waterfront Park
Take a walk on the waterfront, and you will see a new series of informational panels at Waterfront Park, just south of the Seattle Aquarium. Consisting of four vertical panels and four horizontal panels, this “kiosk” is a new feature of our waterfront that provides information about the waterfront today, yesterday, and tomorrow, with fun facts and “find it” items for adults and kids alike. Learn more.
Celebrate seawall and waterfront history
Do you recall Seattle’s central waterfront way back when? Remember the seawall being built in the 1930s? Have memories of important or special times, people, or events? The City of Seattle is collecting stories to celebrate the history of the seawall and waterfront. Sharing your story is easy! (Click for more info)
How will the seawall be replaced? Learn the details
Want to get involved with the Elliott Bay Seawall?
See our project calendar for upcoming outreach dates and project library for materials from previous meetings. The project team regularly talks to community groups—neighborhoods, business groups, and other associations—about the seawall. If your group or organization would like to arrange a presentation, please email email@example.com.
The Elliott Bay Seawall Project will replace the existing seawall—from S. Washington Street to Broad Street—with a structure that meets current safety and design standards.
The Elliott Bay Seawall Project is a critical public safety project. Failure of the seawall would have significant impacts to the public, the City of Seattle, the Puget Sound region, Washington State, and the nation. Protection from coastal storm damage and shoreline erosion is vital to preserving Seattle’s downtown, the economy, and the region’s quality of life and economic competitiveness. The Elliott Bay seawall:
- Protects Seattle’s downtown waterfront from wind-driven storm waves and the erosive tidal forces of Puget Sound and Elliott Bay.
- Supports and protects major public and private utilities, including power for downtown Seattle and the western seaboard, natural gas, and telecommunications.
- Supports State Route 99, the ferry terminal, and rail lines, all of which transport local commuters and visitors as well as local, regional, and international freight.
In 2011, in coordination with Mayor McGinn, the Seattle City Council, Waterfront Seattle, and the public, the project team developed three alternatives for replacing the aging seawall. Working with the Army Corps, the City of Seattle intends to publish a draft environmental document in 2012.
Meanwhile, the City continues to work collaboratively across projects to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape Seattle’s waterfront. Rebuilding the seawall will be the foundational first step to a future Seattle waterfront. Throughout 2011, Waterfront Seattle’s james corner field operations urban design team and seawall designers collaborated on potential seawall placement to help determine seawall alternatives and maximize flexibility for the future waterfront design.
The project will replace the three types of deteriorated seawall structures along the waterfront, constructed between 1916 and 1934, which range in size from approximately 15 to 60 feet wide. The City plans to replace the most deteriorated sections of the central seawall beginning in late 2013, with a second phase of work for the northern seawall following as funding is available. The central seawall is between S. Washington Street (just south of the Washington Street Boat Landing) and Virginia Street (at the northern edge of Pier 62/63), and the north seawall is from Virginia Street north to Broad Street (just south of Olympic Sculpture Park). The new seawall’s “service life” will be approximately 100 years.