Colman Dock // Photo by Washington Dept. Of Transportation

Colman Dock Begins Renovations

Norris Comer Waterfront issues

Colman Dock // Photo by Washington State Dept. Of TransportationBrace yourselves, ferry commuters: The Colman Dock on Seattle’s Alaskan Way, by far the busiest ferry terminal Washington, will undergo a massive overhaul next year.

For all intents and purposes, Colman Dock is the powerhouse of the Seattle ferry system. Colman Dock facilitated more than nine million ferry riders in 2015, plus an additional 500,000 water taxi users. But the venerable, heavily utilized dock is in dire need of repair. The dock is rotting away in some places, according to dive inspectors, which isn’t that surprising when one considers that many of the pilings are over 100 years old.

An extensive remodel of the dock will begin next year. The new Colman Dock will be made of concrete and steel and will extend further into the Sound, but the hassle of navigating a construction zone will continue until the finish date, slated for sometime in 2023. Benefits include the removal of more than 7,400 tons of creosote-treated wood and a commitment to earthquake safety. Colman Dock plays a large role in Seattle’s earthquake preparedness plans, and having a facility that’s up to par is vital to the city’s interest long-term.

But make no mistake, this project means about six years of construction work on the ferry terminal. The design work is about 60 percent complete and there will be public outreach and discussions in the coming months, so stay tuned and make your voice heard. If you’re a ferry commuter, brace yourself for construction tape. We’ll all breathe a sigh of relief in 2023.

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Norris Comer

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Norris Comer is an award-winning writer and the former Managing Editor of Northwest Yachting magazine. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and got his BS in Marine Science at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL where he lived aboard a 1973 Catalina 27 before moving to Washington and an Albin Vega. He has worked as a commercial fisherman, wandered aimlessly around the world, studied oil spills, and was a contestant on the Norwegian reality TV show "Alt for Norge."

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