For the last several months, crews and equipment operators have been working to permanently remove the pier. To accomplish this goal, approximately 50,000 sq. ft. of decking and 894 creosote-treated timber piles were removed.
“We often speak about all the waterfront improvements focused on all the people who walk and roll, but we are equally excited to be building a more welcoming waterfront for our local fish communities to thrive,” said Angela Brady, Waterfront Seattle program director. “The removal of Pier 63 layers upon other program work to enhance the salmon migration corridor.”
Pier 63 was closed in 2017 due to safety concerns and the city has no plans to replace it. Now that it is no longer casting a shadow over the marine habitat below, more plant life will grow, improving nearshore habitat for salmon and other marine life.
In addition to allowing for more light to penetrate through the water at Pier 63, the city also laid down varying sizes of rock sediments to create shallow water habitat next to the seawall in multiple locations to make the area more hospitable for marine life.
Pier 62, the adjacent pier to Pier 63, was rebuilt and opened to the public in 2020. Friends of Waterfront Seattle has been hosting programming and events on Pier 62 ever since, already welcoming more than 600,000 people so far.
These projects are part of the massive investment Seattle is making, a city plan to build a park promenade that began construction after removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a double-decked, elevated freeway that carried a portion of State Route 99. It was demolished in 2019 as part of a multibillion-dollar tunnel replacement.
In addition to the pier work, Waterfront Seattle, which is scheduled to run through 2024, also includes construction of an elevated connection from Pike Place Market to the waterfront and improvements to the east-west connections between the city’s downtown and Elliott Bay.