Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock Project - What to expect during construction

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View photos and video of crews building your new Colman Dock.

May 2020 Construction Update

What does it take to restart construction on the Colman Dock Project? Well, it takes a lot of PPE which, in this case, stands for both personal protective equipment and planning, procurement, and education.

Even before work on the project was suspended Hoffman Pacific (HP), the general contractor for the project, took steps onsite to reduce COVID-19 exposure and limit the risk of spreading this virus. During the shutdown they refined their Health and Safety Plan further and took the steps to acquire the protective equipment, signage, and training materials necessary so they were ready to mobilize when the order allowing construction activities to move forward was signed.

Their plan incorporates the 30 safety protocols developed by the Governor's Roundtable on Construction Safety. These protocols include having a site-specific COVID-19 supervisor, providing COVID-19 safety training to explain the protective measures in place for all workers, and conducting a health screen of workers at the beginning of each shift.

HP's Health and Safety Plan was approved on April 29, and on May 5 work at Colman Dock restarted in earnest. 

This first phase of construction restarts includes low-risk work, which limits construction activities to only those that can be done with no worker within six feet of another. At Colman Dock these activities include welding – where crew members will each be at their own pile, installing pipe, building falsework, and preparing for painting.

This measured rollout of restarting construction will set the stage for a more comprehensive, phased return to full construction over time.

Signage that illustrates six feet of distance so workers can safely continue work on the Colman Dock Project

Signage reminding workers about the importance of maintaining a 6 foot distance at the Colman Dock Project site.

A worker at Colman Dock practices frequent hand washing at one of the site's sanitation stations to increase and maintain good hygiene

A worker at one of the sanitation stations that are placed around the project site to increase and maintain good hygiene, as directed by the CDC.

A worker at the Colman Dock construction site practicing social distancing while working

A worker at Colman Dock maintaining at least six feet of distance from other workers

Low-risk construction activities restarted at the Colman Dock Project on May 5. Low-risk activities are those that can be done with no worker within six feet of another.

The first section of the new terminal building is open, including new elevators near the passenger-only ferry facility at Pier 50. There are no changes to the vehicle entrance.

The first section of the new terminal building opened to the public in September 2019. This new building and pedestrian bridge will remain in use until the project is complete in 2023. Walk-on passengers will get a new, modern building in 2023; however, it's only part of the final structure and offers much less space. This first section of the terminal has limited capacity and 65 seats. Passengers should plan to arrive about 15 minutes before departure to avoid standing in line for long periods of time.

Walk-on customers have several options to enter and exit the new building:

  • The pedestrian bridge between Colman Dock and First Ave at Marion Street.
  • Elevators and stairs at the southwest corner of the dock near the new passenger-only ferry dock at Pier 50.
  • Stairs on Alaskan Way near Columbia Street connecting the street to the terminal level.

Map showing how drivers, bikers, and pedestrians can access Colman Dock

What to expect in the smaller terminal building

The passenger terminal building remains open, but it is much smaller and has fewer amenities. A smaller terminal building allows crews enough room to work as safely and efficiently as possible while we maintain full ferry service.

Interior map of the terminal building at Colman Dock

The smaller terminal building maintains:

  • Ticket sales
  • ADA accessible restrooms 
  • Some seating
  • Limited food options
  • Information booth
  • Visual paging services
  • Full ferry service with no cuts to the number of sailings
  • Pedestrian connections to Alaskan Way and the pedestrian bridge

No change for vehicle access to the toll plaza

People who drive onto a ferry will continue to enter at South Jackson Street from northbound or southbound Alaskan Way. This configuration remains in effect until the project is complete in early 2023. The next change to vehicle exit routes is anticipated in summer 2021.

Construction noise, vibration and odor

Following the move into the new terminal building, the noisiest construction activity will be pile driving necessary to build the new dock and demolition of the existing terminal building. Pile-driving work will be limited to daylight hours through mid-February. Other nighttime work activities may also be needed for demolition. Removal of creosote-coated timber piles can also cause vibration and odors. Our contractor will use best management practices to minimize these impacts. Terminal staff will have earplugs available for the public during this time.

Reasonable accommodation information

As a member of the public, you may request reasonable accommodation to access WSF activities, programs or services. Requests may include but are not limited to:

  • Sign language interpreters
  • Assisted listening devices
  • Printed materials in alternative formats
  • Ferry passenger access

To make a reasonable accommodation request, please contact Sarah Nagpal at or (206) 515-3437.  WSF attempts to accommodate all requests; however, we are better able to fulfill requests made with at least two weeks advance notice.