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Local Officials, Engineers Herald Seattle’s Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock at Latest Roadshow Stop

SEATTLE, WA — The replacement project for Seattle’s Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock, one of the world’s busiest ferry terminals, was recently showcased by local officials and engineers as part of the Engineering and Public Works Roadshow. The Colman Dock serves as an example of how comprehensive infrastructure investment can promote equity within a community and drive economic growth.

Supporting more than 10 million passengers for Washington State Ferries each year, the Colman Dock plays a critical role as a transportation hub for residents throughout the region and is recognized as a landmark along Seattle’s scenic waterfront. As the structures were aging and vulnerable to seismic impacts, the reconstruction of the dock and terminal to better withstand environmental impacts also included expanding facilities to accommodate additional passengers and vendors, turning the terminal into a local attraction for Seattle residents and visitors.

Effective project management has allowed for Washington State Ferries to continue serving its 10 million annual passengers without delay during construction.

The Roadshow is a collaboration between the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The Roadshow marks the first time the organizations representing the designers and public operators of America’s infrastructure have joined together to shine a spotlight on what successful infrastructure investment means for the nation’s economy, jobs, the environment, and future. This is the Roadshow’s sixth stop since its creation in late 2022.

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“To me, investment in transportation is a means to multiple ends,” said Roger Millar, Secretary of Transportation at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and past President of the ASCE Transportation & Development Institute. “Well-executed transportation projects support economic vitality, environmental stewardship and resilience, social equity, and access to opportunity, public health, and aesthetic quality. I’m proud to say our Colman Dock project brings all of those benefits for Seattle, the state, and the region.”

“It was just a few short years ago that a looming, gigantic double-decker concrete freeway — the Alaskan Way Viaduct — formed a solid barrier between our downtown neighborhoods and our waterfront,” said Angela Brady, APWA Washington Chapter Member and City of Seattle Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects Director. “The viaduct’s removal in 2019 has provided us with the incredible opportunity to reconnect downtown Seattle to our uniquely beautiful waterfront on Elliott Bay, and to build more than 20 acres of new public open spaces and parks that Seattle can be proud of.”

“Everyone here today agrees that the Colman Dock is a wonderful, tangible, and visible example of the quality of transportation and infrastructure projects being performed in Washington State,” ACEC-Washington President Van Collins said. “Yet, speaking on behalf of consulting engineering firms, I can honestly say it should not be surprising. Washington’s engineering talent, whether public or private, is second to none, and the Colman Dock is proof of the vast public benefit such expertise has produced and will produce in the years to come. Maybe even more importantly, the Dock and other such infrastructure projects will hopefully entice more of our youth, our future engineers, to dream about how they could be part of something so consequential.”

The nearly $500 million construction project fully faces Seattle’s waterfront, and seating capacity in the expanded 20,000-square-foot terminal triples that of the past the terminal. Since the Colman Dock multimodal project began construction in 2017, the project has integrated:

  • A new passenger-only ferry terminal on the south side of Colman Dock for the King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit
  • An elevated walkway between the terminal building and the passenger-only ferry facility
  • A new overhead loading passenger structure on the north end of the terminal
  • The timber trestle portion of the dock with a new concrete and steel trestle for vehicle staging and loading/unloading
  • The full passenger terminal building

Representatives from WSDOT, WSP USA, Hoffman Construction Company, and the City of Seattle were applauded for their work.

As the federal government continues to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Roadshow speakers said it will not be fully realized without an expanded and robust workforce. Students nationwide must be educated about the rewarding careers of civil engineering and public works, they said, so these professions have the necessary staffing to complete transformative projects.

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