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Pier 57 closed due to proximity to collapsed pier, potential for structural failure

Seattle Fire crews respond to the Seattle waterfront. (Seattle Fire via Twitter)

Pier 57 on the Seattle Waterfront, home to the Great Wheel and Miner’s Landing, was closed unexpectedly at 5 p.m. Friday. It is unclear when it will reopen.

Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) announced that they would be closing privately-owned Pier 57 due to its proximity to the falling Pier 58 structure and the potential for failure of the remaining structure, following an inspection by the city’s structural engineering consultant.

Part of the neighboring Pier 58 collapsed last Sunday as it was being demolished. If more of it were to fall, the concern is that it could crash into Miner’s Landing.

Video: SDOT releases footage of Pier 58 collapse in Seattle

There is no observed damage to Pier 57, Pier 59, or the adjacent seawall.

Both public access and businesses on Pier 57 are now closed. The Seattle Aquarium, located on the other side of Pier 58, remains open and engineers say it is not in danger.

“Our top priorities continue to be public safety, the safety of our construction team and protecting critical infrastructure,” said Marshall Foster, Director of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects. “We support SDCI in taking this necessary action and will continue to work with waterfront partners and businesses to both protect public safety and minimize impacts.” 

The city is currently re-installing monitoring systems and preparing for demolition work to begin once it is safe to do so. Pier 58 removal is expected to be completed by early 2021.

When shifting was observed at Pier 58 and it was deemed unsafe for the public, removal of the pier started earlier than originally anticipated. However, funding for the pier replacement had already been secured as part of the Waterfront Seattle project. The redesign will include a public plaza, large lawn, and a children’s playground. It’s also designed to improve the salmon habitat and migration corridor.

The KIRO Radio Newsdesk contributed to this report.

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