Seattle Seawall Project – Seattle, WA

  • City of Seattle
Project Value

$372 million


Energy And Environment, Water And Wastewater


Engineering, Program/Construction Management (PM/CM), Sustainability

Waterfront Resiliency

Removing sheet piles used to separate construction activity from Elliott Bay

For more than 75 years, the original Seattle Seawall—built between 1916 and 1934 using 20,000 old-growth timber piles—protected the city’s waterfront, but due to seismic vulnerability, aging, and the harsh marine environment, the structure had deteriorated and needed replacing. In 2012, the City of Seattle hired Parsons to deliver the replacement seawall to protect the city’s critical infrastructure, reduce the risk of seismic damage, and improve the salmon migration corridor. As the prime consultant for this important project, we provided overall program management and served as the engineer of record. Our scope of work included:

  • Environmental clearances and permits for 6,800 linear feet of seawall replacement
  • Full design and construction support services of 3,400 linear feet of seawall replacement

Red clamshell bucket removing rip rap at Seattle Aquarium

Working With Partners

For this one-of-a-kind waterfront project—which also included design and construction of ecological features, a habitat beach, the new seawall, a restored roadway, and a promenade—we provided extensive coordination with stakeholders, adjacent business owners, historic pier owners, the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal, the Seattle Aquarium, partner agencies, third-party utilities, and regulatory agencies. Coordination on the project during design required hands-on management by each technical discipline lead as well as the right tracking tools. To accomplish this task, we used a tiered meeting approach to closely coordinate all elements of the project and keep it moving forward by maintaining a 6-week look-ahead schedule, issues and action item log, and risk register. This approach actively involved the design team, environmental team, outreach team, right-of-way team, and procurement team, many of which had concurrent and overlapping milestones.

Meeting A Tight Project Timeline

To meet the project’s aggressive schedule, we used our self-perform construction resources to inform design decisions, means and methods, construction sequencing and staging, and estimating and risk evaluation. This method provided Seattle with quick access to independent construction expertise and a team focused on providing a full suite of services to ensure that all project elements are closely coordinated and delivered on schedule.

The new seawall—located along the Seattle waterfront, parallel to Alaskan Way and the historic piers near Pike Place Market—will last for more than 75 years and acts as a buffer for these city landmarks in addition to protecting critical city infrastructure from deterioration.

Learn More

For more than 75 years, our experts have designed and delivered the critical infrastructure that connects and protects communities around the world. Where New York needed a crossing, we delivered the new Goethals Bridge, designed with a 100-year life span in mind. When the Southern Nevada Water Authority needed to sustainably safeguard water access, we provided the program and construction management to make it happen. Learn more.

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