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April 2, 2024

Seattle Ferry Terminal wins national transportation award

Photos by Sean Airhart [enlarge]
The terminal was the first public building to open west of Alaskan Way on the waterfront since the demolition of the viaduct.

The new Seattle Ferry Terminal at Colman Dock has won a 2023 America's Transportation Award.

This program, now in its 17th year, honors state departments of transportation (DOTs) and “the positive impacts that their projects bring to communities across the country.”

The 2023 competition attracted 81 nominations submitted by 36 state DOTs.

Seattle's newest ferry terminal was awarded in the Quality of Life/Community Development Category.

The Seattle Ferry Terminal, designed by NBBJ, replaced the decades-old Colman Dock terminal with a new passenger and entry building along Alaskan Way.

The terminal serves nearly 9 million riders per year.

The old terminal was built in the 1970s and over its lifespan had become “seismically deficient,” making it increasingly vulnerable to earthquake damage.

The new terminal opened in phases and was fully opened to the public in November 2022. It cost approximately $455 million.

The terminal and WSDOT were commended for the project's contributions to Seattle's tourist industry “while also serving commuter and freight transport needs as it serves as a maritime extension of the state's highway system.”

The terminal is the busiest in the Washington State Ferry system and serves nearly 9 million riders per year.

The jury also praised the project as “a critical link for (Seattle's) continued economic growth.”

The terminal is part of the broader Colman Dock replacement project that also comprised a new concrete and steel trestle and an elevated pedestrian walkway.

The Seattle Ferry Terminal and Colman Dock replacement project team also includes Washington State Ferries, owner; WSP USA, lead consultant; WSDOT Architects and SRG, co-architects with NBBJ; KPFF, mechanical engineering/moveable structures, structural engineering, and waterfront engineering; and Hoffman Construction and Pacific Pile and Marine, general contractors.

The America's Transportation Awards are sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Automobile Association (AAA), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Nominations for the 2024 competition are currently open and will be accepted through April 12. Only state DOTs can apply.

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