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New Pier 58 forms along the Seattle waterfront

The foundation for the new Pier 58 is taking shape along the Seattle waterfront. The project is a piece of the $756 million renovation and rehabilitation of the waterfront that began in 2010 and is headed by the city’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects.

The old Pier 58, also known as Waterfront Park, was removed in 2020-21. Orion Marine was in the midst of removing it in September 2020, when part of it collapsed and sank, sending two workers into Elliott Bay. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in that incident.

Now Pacific Pile & Marine is rebuilding Pier 58 under a $34.5 million contract. The general contractor started work last fall with the removal of the remaining old creosote piles. It has since installed 76 of the 120 steel replacement pilings during a fish window, and recently started placing precast concrete caps on the steel piles. Pacific Pile on Saturday brought in Pacific Lifter, the largest barge-mounted crane in the region, to install the caps. Next, the contractor will lay precast concrete panels on top of the caps and then pour a concrete deck.

The new 48,000-square-foot pier will have a triangular shape, with a nearshore opening to improve salmon habitat. Its focal point will be a new children’s playground that includes a four-level climbing tower resembling a jellyfish and an 18-foot slide. Other amenities planned for the pier include a shaded tree grove and elevated lawn, and a plaza and event space that can be used for concerts, outdoor movies and other pop-up events.

The old pier section that sank took with it a fountain designed by artists James FitzGerald and Margaret Tomkins that was installed in 1974. The city recovered the fountain after it sat a few months under water and had it restored. It will be installed in the southeast corner of the new pier.

Pacific Pile says it should be finished with its work on Sept. 9, 2024.

Part of Pacific Pile’s contract included demolition of Pier 63 to the north, which was finished late last year and included removing 894 timber piles and nearly 50,000 square feet of decking. Pier 63 closed in 2017 due to safety concerns and its removal is expected to improve the ecosystem of the nearshore habitat, providing more light for plants to grow and marine life to flourish.

The new Pier 58 will be managed by a partnership between the Seattle Parks Department and Friends of Waterfront Seattle. James Corner Field Operations is the lead designer for the new downtown waterfront.

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