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Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock Project

project status: design
The Seattle terminal today

Layout of existing faclity
 Layout of the existing facility

 Layout of the future facility  Layout of the future facility

View of entry building from the south
 View of the entry building from the south

Approach to the terminal building
 Approach to the terminal building with 12-foot-wide covered area

Interior view of the terminal
 Interior view of the terminal


September 2016

Project Update 
  • The project is currently in the final design stage with early construction activities expected to begin in spring 2017.
  • Check out the project library to view the latest design and construction information shared during spring and summer outreach events.
  • The next rounds of public outreach are planned for later this year and in spring 2017.


Washington State Ferries, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration will replace the old and seismically vulnerable parts of Colman Dock in Seattle in order to maintain its critical role as a regional multimodal transportation hub.

Why is WSDOT replacing the Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock?

Colman Dock in Seattle is WSF’s largest ferry terminal and supports transportation across Puget Sound between downtown Seattle and communities in Kitsap County and the Olympic Peninsula. It serves commuters, tourists, commercial vehicles, walk-on passengers and bicyclists. In 2015, more than nine million total riders traveled through Colman Dock with an additional 500,000 riders using the King County Water Taxi. This total includes over five million foot passengers.

Key components of Colman Dock are aging and vulnerable to seismic events. The layout of today’s facility also creates safety concerns and operational inefficiencies due to conflicts between vehicles, bicycles and pedestrian traffic.

The End Result

Key project elements include:

  • Replacing the existing timber trestle portion of the dock with a new concrete and steel trestle
  • 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 the northernmost slip
  • Replacing the King County Water Taxi facility on the south edge of Colman Dock with local funding from King County
  • Constructing a new entry building, elevated plaza and view platform
  • Maintaining a connection to First Avenue via the Marion Street Bridge
  • Adding a bicycle entry and holding area north of Marion Street
  • Mitigating for additional overwater coverage* 

*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 5,200 square feet. Mitigation for this increase in overwater coverage will be achieved by removing overwater coverage from a neighboring pier owned by WSDOT.

Project Benefits

The project will:

  • Ensure that the Colman Dock facility can continue to provide safe and reliable ferry service between Seattle and communities in Kitsap County and the Olympic Peninsula
  • Improve safety by meeting current seismic standards
  • Reduce conflicts between vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians and improve operational efficiencies
  • Improve pedestrian circulation, connections to Alaskan Way and accessibility
  • Remove 7,400 tons 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?

  • 2012-2015 – Environmental process/preliminary design
  • 2015-2017 – Final design and permitting
  • 2017-2023 – Construction

Project Construction (2017-2023)

Construction activities will begin in spring 2017 and construction is expected to be complete in early 2023. Construction of the facility is complex because WSF will maintain ferry operations at Colman Dock throughout the work. In addition, major in-water work is limited to half the year due to environmental regulations to protect marine species.

While ferry operations will be maintained throughout construction, customers can expect changes to how vehicles, passengers and bicycles load and unload. Terminal staff and signage will help direct traffic flow. Customers and terminal neighbors can expect construction noise, especially when construction crews install the pilings that will serve as the foundation for the new dock.

WSF will continue to coordinate closely with other Seattle waterfront projects, including the Seawall Replacement project, Waterfront Seattle, and Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program throughout design and construction.

Stay tuned for more information about construction during upcoming outreach efforts planned for late 2016 and spring of 2017.

Financial Information

$320 million dollars in federal, state and local funding has been appropriated for the project.

How can I get more information?
Elizabeth Faulkner
Project Communications

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