Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Changes at Colman Dock on Seattle’s waterfront

By Broch Bender 

The year is 1882. Scottish engineer James Colman builds a modest ferry dock at the foot of Columbia Street in Seattle, setting in motion what would become Washington state’s marine transportation mecca for tens of millions of people. …and their automobiles.

Today, we are in the process of rebuilding the facility from the waterline up. The Seattle Multimodal Terminal Project at Colman Dock helps preserve our state’s flagship ferry terminal as a regional multimodal transportation hub decades into the future.
Colman Dock is under construction until early 2023.
Keeping Colman Dock open during construction without cancelling sailings will require some adjustment for customers. The entrance for all vehicles, including vanpools and motorcycles, is now located at a neighboring pier, south of the toll plaza, at South Jackson Street.

People driving on to a ferry enter at South Jackson Street from northbound or southbound Alaskan Way South, drive north in a dedicated toll plaza access lane, and buy tickets at the existing toll plaza. There are no access changes for pedestrians; travelers riding bicycles will continue to use the Yesler Way bicycle entrance next to the toll plaza.
From 1882 until mid-1920s, Colman Dock, the largest of more than 100 whistle stops up and down Puget Sound, is used as a “Mosquito Fleet” passenger terminal only.  By the early 1920s, Puget Sound Navigation (Black Ball Line) retrofits a smattering of steamships and launches the first auto-ferry service on Seattle’s waterfront. Washington State Ferries takes over operations on June 1, 1951.

In addition, the passenger terminal is smaller while critical work continues to replace the seismically vulnerable flagship terminal. The load zones in front of the terminal will remain the same and there will be additional on-street parking between Yesler Way and Madison Street through the busy summer months.

View pro tips to prepare for (and avoid) long waits inside the passenger terminal and at the drive-on entrance this summer.

Colman Dock is the busiest ferry terminal in the country. In 2017 alone, more than 9 million people, including 5 million foot passengers, traveled through the facility. This critical safety and preservation project completely replaces the seismically vulnerable terminal building and sections of dock that are currently supported by 70-year-old wooden piles. In addition, your future ferry terminal is designed to eliminate conflict between pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles and includes a new passenger-only dock to serve the King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit Fast Ferry.

We know keeping the busiest ferry terminal in the nation open to the public during construction, with no reduction to service brings some big changes for people, and we appreciate your cooperation. The project is on track for completion in early 2023.


Amanda Plemmons said...

Please make your temporary arrangements more accessible to those of us with mobility impairments and chronic conditions that limit our ability to stand in lines.

WSDOT said...

Amanda, we have chairs set aside and signed for people with mobility challenges located next to the turnstiles. Ask an attendant to assist you when you arrive inside the terminal building.

AlbertC said...

You should have used the casting basin in Aberdeen to partially construct the Colman Dock in Seattle waterfront or have used the old hiway 520 pontoons.

WSDOT said...

The concrete sections needed to form the deck of Colman Dock require custom forms. These custom forms could not be built at the Aberdeen casting basin because that facility was designed specifically for the SR 520 Project. The old SR 520 pontoons could not be reused to form the deck of Colman Dock for a variety of reasons, including that the pontoons are not the right size, and are much too old to reuse.

jmith porter said...

Thanks for sharing this article .The concrete sections needed to form the deck of Colman Dock require custom forms.

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