Seattle’s gleaming, new waterfront project well underway

Aug 14, 2023, 3:30 PM

waterfront tax...

A new pedestrian walkway from Pike Place Market to the Waterfront. (Photo from waterfrontseattle.com)

(Photo from waterfrontseattle.com)

Since the viaduct came down in 2019, a lot has changed on Seattle’s downtown waterfront and city officials are promising something special.

Where a shadow was once cast by the viaduct, an expansive new waterfront is slowly emerging.

“We’ve been able to build a new Alaskan Way and Elliott Way. That’s the new street which we built right in the footprint of the old viaduct,” Angela Brady, Seattle’s Director of Waterfront Projects, said. “We were able to open that to traffic from King Street down in the Stadium District all the way up to Bell Street in Belltown.”

For pedestrians, a number of options are popping up.

“In December of last year, we built a new pedestrian bridge structure at Union Street with a new elevator. That creates a more accessible route eastbound and westbound into the city,” Brady said. “There’s a new pedestrian bridge structure we’re building that will connect Pike Place Market down to the Waterfront.”

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Right now contractors are putting the final touch on the new Marion Street overpass connecting 1st Avenue to Colman Dock. This is expected to open by October. The new Colman Dock will also change the way drivers access the facility. Drivers hopping on a ferry can only enter from the northbound lanes of Alaskan Way now, where two left lanes are designated at Yesler.

You can no longer take a right from Southbound Alaskan Way.

Another project that just got underway is the creation of a promenade along the waterfront, which will take some time to finish.

“So we’re building a long, linear promenade along the water’s edge and over the next two years you’ll see more improvements happening along that stretch,” Brady explained.

And there’s something totally new that’s been added.

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“We have a beach in the Pioneer Square district,” Brady said. “We’re calling it the Pioneer Square Habitat Beach. It’s just south of Colman Dock.”

Brady also said the city is working on the infrastructure that they need to put in all the plants and the landscaping.

“We have a beautiful fountain going in. So we have a lot of art, culture, landscaping, and greenery coming in the next year.”

The new waterfront is expected to be completed sometime in 2025.

More from Nate Connors: Damaged bridge over SR 518 closes near Sea-Tac airport for repairs

“We’re going to have a big celebration and hopefully bring a lot of people down to the waterfront to enjoy all the new infrastructure we are building down there,” Brady added. “It’s going to be amazing.”

Nate Connors is a traffic reporter for KIRO Newsradio.

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Seattle’s gleaming, new waterfront project well underway