The City of Seattle continues to finalize permits and prepare for Elliott Bay Seawall Project construction. This week the City and several waterfront pier and business owners reached agreement to close some waterfront businesses during the peak of construction. Doing so allows the City to compress the construction schedule and reduce costs for maintaining temporary access. The agreement leads to the withdrawal of a Shoreline Permit appeal.
In May 2013, the Seattle Historic Waterfront Association (SHWA) filed an appeal to the Shoreline Permit with the Washington Shorelines Hearings Board. SHWA’s appeal focused on business access during construction – an issue that the City was already tackling with waterfront pier and business owners. Maintaining waterfront business access during Seawall construction poses unique challenges due to the extent and duration of construction and the lack of alternatives for access to waterfront piers.
“I’m pleased that the City and the pier owners have developed a mutually acceptable, creative solution under these unique circumstances for a very high priority safety project,” said Peter Hahn, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation.
Over the last two months SDOT has been proactive, continuing to plan for construction this fall by advancing design efforts, continuing construction planning with the General Contractor/Construction Manager and coordinating with other permitting agencies. Pending receipt of all environmental permits, the project remains on track for construction starting this fall.
The Elliott Bay Seawall Project will replace the existing seawall with a structure that meets current safety and design standards. It will provide the foundation for the current and future waterfront, supporting and protecting major utilities (including power, regional telecommunications, gas, sewer and water), SR 99 and the BNSF railway, as well as future features of the Waterfront Seattle program. Replacement of the central Seawall between South Washington Street and Virginia Street was funded through a public bond measure approved by 77 percent of Seattle voters in November 2012. Completion of the project in 2016 will allow other key transportation projects to move forward on schedule including the 2016 opening of the SR 99 deep bored tunnel and subsequent demolition of the Alaskan Way viaduct.