Expedited planning, contracting and permit applications now underway to remove Pier as quickly as possible
Seattle (August 14, 2020) – Today, the City is announcing the decision to rapidly move forward with the emergency dismantling of Pier 58 as quickly as possible, following an engineering assessment showing significant shifting between the pier and the upland. After closing the pier for public safety last week, Seattle Parks and Recreation contracted with private engineering firm Seattle Structural to complete an inspection and engineering assessment. Engineers have recommend the removal of the pier within the next 90 days.
Pier 58, also known as Waterfront Park, is between the piers which hold Seattle Aquarium and Miner’s Landing and the Great Wheel. Removal of the pier will include planning and collaboration with these partners to protect adjoining piers and minimize impacts to these attractions and businesses.
In response to Seattle Structural’s recommendation, the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects is entering into an emergency consultant contract to design the removal of the pier and is working with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to expedite permits. SDOT will work with all partners to expedite this process as rapidly as possible to ensure public safety, and the safety of those businesses on neighboring piers.
Pier 58 is an aging piece of infrastructure long slated for a significant overhaul. The Pier 58 replacement was already planned and funded, with removal of the existing pier and construction of a new public park pier planned for 2022. Over the past week, natural forces have accelerated the timeline for replacement. In addition to the already planned Pier 58 replacement, the Office of The Waterfront has already nearly completed work on another new public park at Pier 62 which will open later this year.
“Piers and other marine structures naturally deteriorate over time,” said Jesús Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent, “We’ve been monitoring this structure for many years in anticipation that it would eventually need to be replaced.”
Design of the Pier 58 replacement is currently underway with the 60% milestone submittal expected this fall. Construction of a new public park pier is planned for 2022. The new pier will improve public access, create an inviting space for families, provide open views to Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, and include a children’s playground. It will also improve the salmon habitat and migration corridor.
Pier 58 is next to the Elliot Bay Seawall, which is a separate structure that is in good shape and has not shifted. Metal plates span the joint between the seawall and the pier and are designed to accommodate movement between the two structures. Over the past several years, SDOT has invested in repairs to the seawall, while ensuring public safety through regular monitoring and maintenance.
The City anticipates having more information about removal timeline later this month and will hold a media availability at that time.