Climate Pledge Arena construction hits key milestone ahead of fall opening

Jan 27, 2021, 12:10 PM | Updated: Jan 29, 2021, 5:04 pm

Construction on Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena hit a major milestone this week, as workers removed the last of temporary supports that were holding the iconic roof up while permanent supports were built.

Seattle Center arena roof ‘floating’ as work goes on beneath

The roof — which weighs 44 million pounds — had been supported by 72 temporary steel columns and a reinforcement structure for nearly a year to the date. Removing those columns was a complicated process that required meticulous and careful work.

“Now we’re in here, we’ve got less than 12 inches in many areas between new structures and temporary roof elements, we’ve got to get 55 thousand pounds of steel out of here without damaging the new structure,” said Mortenson Senior Project Manager Will Traylor.

“In a lot of ways it’s like climbing a mountain — it’s tough to go to the top, it’s just as tough on your way down,” OVG Construction Executive Ken Johnsen added.

Many on the project describe it as “one of the most complicated things they’ve ever worked on,” for a process Johnsen says is going “extremely well.”

Climate Pledge Arena — naming rights of which were purchased by Amazon in 2020 — is expected to open by fall 2021. Most of 2019 was spent excavating 600,000 cubic yards of dirt, a phase of the project that finished by the end of February 2020. Last year was more about building up, including adding steel framing for the arena’s walls.

Climate Pledge Arena: NHL Seattle arena name rights bought by Amazon

In addition to Seattle Kraken hockey and Seattle Storm WNBA basketball, the arena will host concerts and could also house a future Seattle NBA team. Capacity for NHL games sits at 17,100; concert capacity is up to 17,200, while basketball games could draw up to 18,100.

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Climate Pledge Arena construction hits key milestone ahead of fall opening