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June 6, 2016

Rebuilding Pier 62/63 could cost $29 million and start in fall 2017

Journal Staff Reporter

Rendering courtesy of the city of Seattle [enlarge]
Pier 62/63 will be improved so events can be held there again.

Rebuilding Pier 62/63 on the Seattle waterfront is slated to begin in fall 2017, if the city council approves a funding package in July proposed by the city's Office of the Waterfront.

The project will cost $29 million, most of which the city has already budgeted, said Marshall Foster, who directs the waterfront office. He said the funding package will allow the project to begin two years ahead of schedule, and be complete by June 2019.

His office is asking the council to reallocate $4.3 million in the Seattle Park District budget that is slated for waterfront operations and maintenance in 2019 and 2020 to help fund the rebuild, which will involve demolishing the southern half of Pier 62/63.

Foster said redeveloping the central waterfront — from Pioneer Square to Belltown — has been delayed by two years because of problems with the tunnel machine Bertha, so the $4.3 million won't be needed until 2021.

Also, the city is partnering with the not-for-profit Friends of Waterfront Seattle on the Pier 62/63 project. Foster said Friends has pledged to raise $8 million of the project cost from private donors.

The Pier 62/63 complex is at 1951 Alaskan Way. It was built in the 1920s as general cargo piers with large warehouses covering the central portion and an apron around the perimeter for rail service and warehouse access, according to a report PND Engineers wrote for the city in 2009. It was acquired by the city in the early 1990s, and is owned by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Foster said Pier 62/63 is safe but needs to be improved so cultural events and concerts such as the popular “Summer Nights at the Pier” can be held there again.

Foster said people say they want the redeveloped waterfront to have places to connect with the water, and enjoy views and cultural events. He said this will provide that.

The project will rebuild the southern half of Pier 62/63, replacing old wooden pilings with steel pipe pilings, and replacing the timber deck with a textured concrete deck. New lighting, railings, utilities, and public art by Ann Hamilton and Stephen Vitiello will be added.

There will also be a floating dock for short-stay moorage and a launch point for cultural events such as the Salmon Homecoming, or a small floating farmers market.

Foster said the northern half of Pier 62/63 will not be improved because of the limited budget. He said most of the public use is on the southern half, and that is where utilities will be for events. The north half will be usable once the south half is rebuilt.

An open house about the project will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. June 23 at Waterfront Space, 1400 Western Ave. R.S.V.P. at http://tiny.cc/9x2vby/.

The design team includes James Corner Field Operations and Reid Middleton, which is providing structural engineering. Foster said the city will go out to bid for a contractor this fall.


Lynn Porter can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.

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