Washington State Ferries is replacing the aging and seismically vulnerable Colman Dock in Seattle to maintain its critical role as a regional multimodal transportation hub.
Key project elements include: a concrete and steel trestle, main terminal building, entry building (with retail space), elevated walkway between the terminal building and the passenger-only ferry and replacing the overhead passenger walkway on the northernmost slip (slip #3). It also adds a bicycle entry and holding area north of Marion Street plus stairs and elevators to connect the facility to Alaskan Way. It also mitigates for additional overwater coverage.
What to expect
Our new flagship ferry terminal is open on the Seattle waterfront!
The new passenger building is a vast improvement over the old one. It fully faces the water, with 4,230 square feet of windows looking onto Elliott Bay and the city. Clerestory windows above bathe the space in natural light. Passengers have more than 20,000 feet of space to spread out as they await the ferry to Bremerton or Bainbridge Island. Construction began on the terminal building in 2017. We opened one-third of it in 2019 to continue serving both routes as crews finished the remaining two-thirds of the building.
Inside the new terminal building:
- 20,026 square feet of passenger space--room for 1,900 ferry riders
- Twelve turnstiles for each route including six that are ADA-accessible
- Seating capacity of 362 seats—triple that of the old terminal building
- 4 restrooms with 24 stalls
- Ticket sales at booths on the temporary walkway and at kiosks (also buy tickets online)
- Elevator access located near the passenger only ferry terminal
Work continues on these elements:
- A new entry building along Alaskan Way and the elevated pedestrian connector into the terminal building. Both set to open in 2023.
- Additional elevator access from Alaskan Way, with additional passenger drop-off and pick-up in front of our new terminal building.
- Seamless access to the ferry terminal above ground using the elevated walkway above Marion Street, going through the entry building, crossing the elevated connector, and arriving at the terminal building.
- Ten food and retail vendor locations in the terminal building and in the rest of the project.
Two new plazas along Alaskan / Dzidzilalich Way
This project adds two new plazas along Alaskan / Dzidzilalich Way, and we asked two local tribes to submit names for them. WSF consults with Tribes that are federally recognized with adjudicated treaty rights in the waters where our projects are located. In this case, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe are both federally recognized and have treaty adjudicated hunting, fishing, and gathering rights in the waters of Elliott Bay.
- The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has submitted sluʔwił for the south plaza near Yesler Way. It’s a reference to a canoe shortcut through the reeds near Colman Dock.
- The Suquamish Tribe has submitted ʔulułali for the north plaza near Columbia Street. It means place of traveling by water. Click here to learn how to say it.
By naming these plazas in the traditional Lushootseed language, we can honor the legacy of the tribes and bring their history to this new facility. We presented these proposals to the Washington State Transportation Commission at their meetings in March and May. On Wednesday, May 17, the Commission provided unanimous support for these tribal plaza names. We appreciate the support of the Transportation Commission in this momentous endeavor, as well as the endorsement of 17 organizations. Thank you to the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Tribes for your engagement with WSF.
Artist rendering showing the final look of the new terminal. New elements include concrete and steel trestle, terminal building, entry building, elevated walkway to the passenger-only ferry, and new overhead passenger walkway on slip #3.