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Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock Project

project status: planning

Passengers walking at Colman Ferry Terminal 
Over 4.4 million foot passengers used the Seattle Ferry Terminal in 2013.

A bankia infestation in the Colman Ferry Dock trestle A shipworm infestation in the north trestle.


October 2015

Project Update 

  • WSF is currently completing the environmental review process and preliminary design phase of the project. We recently presented our latest design concept to the Seattle Design Commission. Check out the presentation here.


  • In December 2014, WSF received approval from a statewide committee to deliver the project using the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) method. This alternative contracting method is best suited to the unique characteristics of the project, such as our need to maintain operations at the terminal throughout construction.


  • Once selected, the GC/CM will provide preconstruction services starting this summer; construction is not expected to begin until 2017.


Washington State Ferries (WSF), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are planning a project to replace the aging and seismically vulnerable components of Colman Dock in Seattle in order to maintain ferry service in the future.

Why is WSDOT considering replacing the Seattle Ferry Terminal?

Colman Dock in Seattle is WSF’s largest ferry terminal and supports transportation across Puget Sound between downtown Seattle and communities in Kitsap County. It serves general and commercial purpose traffic, high occupancy vehicles, transit, bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2013 alone, Colman Dock served over 8.5 million riders, including 4.4 million foot passengers. The Seattle/Bainbridge route is WSF’s busiest passenger route and has the largest annual ridership. By 2030, overall ridership is projected to increase by 39 percent for the Seattle/Bainbridge route and by 25 percent for the Seattle/Bremerton route.

The project’s purpose is to preserve the transportation function of an aging, deteriorating and seismically-deficient facility to continue providing safe and reliable service. The project will also address existing safety concerns related to conflicts between vehicles and pedestrian traffic and operational inefficiencies.

Key project elements include:

  • Replacing and re-configuring the timber trestle portion of the dock;
  • Replacing the main terminal building;
  • Reconfiguring the dock layout to provide safer and more efficient operations;
  • Replacing the vehicle transfer span and the overhead loading structures of Slip 3;
  • Replacing vessel landing aids;
  • Maintaining a connection to the Marion Street pedestrian overpass;
  • Replacing the passenger-only ferry facility on southern edge of Colman Dock with local funding from King County
  • Mitigating for additional 5,200 square feet of overwater coverage
  • Capping existing contaminated sediments

The End Result

The new Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock will improve safety by addressing safety concerns related to seismic vulnerability and conflicts between vehicle, bicycles and pedestrians. While avoidance and minimization of new overwater coverage was a key goal of the project, the new facility will increase the overwater footprint by approximately 5,200ft2 Mitigation for this increase in overwater coverage would include restoration of equivalent ecological functions in Elliott Bay or elsewhere in Puget Sound.

WSF, FTA and FHWA will continue to coordinate closely with other Seattle waterfront projects, including the Elliott Bay Seawall Replacement project, Waterfront Seattle program, and Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program throughout the design process.

Project Benefits

The project would:

  • Ensure that the Colman Dock facility can continue to provide, safe, reliable and efficient ferry service between Seattle and Kitsap County;
  • Improve safety by addressing seismic vulnerability and reducing conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians;
  • Improve existing pedestrian connections to local transit service;
  • Upgrade terminal facilities to current codes and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
  • Remove large quantities of creosote-treated timber piles from Elliott Bay;
  • Open up an area of shoreline and near-shore habitat;
  • Provide stormwater treatment for all new and replaced areas of the trestle;
  • Provide opportunities for remediation of contaminated sediments

What is the project timeline?

  • 2012-early 2015 – Environmental process/preliminary design
  • 2015-2017 – Final design, permitting and procurement
  • 2017-2022 – On-site construction

Financial Information

The Legislature has included $268 million for the Seattle Project in their planned capital list, relying on a combination of local, state and federal funding sources. King County is also responsible for securing funding for the replacement passenger-only ferry facility.

  • Terminal Building and North Trestle Replacement: $207 million
  • Slip 3 Overhead Loading and Transfer Span Replacement: $48 million
  • Passenger-only Ferry Facility Replacement: $13 million, to be provided by King County

How can I get more information?
Genevieve Rucki, P.E.
WSF Project Manager

Elizabeth Faulkner
Project Communications

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