Ferries - Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock Project

Project news


Washington State Ferries is replacing the aging 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 2017, more than 10 million people traveled through Colman Dock including more than 5 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
  • Replacing the passenger-only ferry facility on the south edge of Colman Dock with funding from King County
  • Constructing a new elevated walkway between the terminal building and the passenger-only ferry facility
  • Replacing the overhead loading facility on the northernmost slip
  • Adding a bicycle entry and holding area north of Marion Street
  • Maintaining an elevated connection between the terminal building and the Marion Street Bridge 
  • Providing stairs and elevators to connect the facility to Alaskan Way
  • 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 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


  • 2012-2015 – Environmental process/preliminary design
  • 2015-2017 – Final design and permitting
  • Summer 2017-2023 – Construction
  • August 2017 - Completion of a temporary passenger-only ferry terminal on the north side of the dock at Pier 52. The King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit Fast Ferry will operate out of the temporary location until fall 2018, when the new facility is complete.
  • Spring 2018 - Partial demolition of the Seattle terminal building begins 
  • Fall 2018 - Pile driving work on north side of the trestle begins. This work lasts through mid-Feb. 2019. 
  • Summer 2019 - Completion of new passenger-only ferry terminal

Construction will continue until 2023 and the terminal will remain open throughout construction.

While the terminal and all ferry operations will be available and maintained throughout construction, customers can expect changes to how vehicles, passengers and bicycles load and unload.

  • Customers and terminal neighbors can also expect construction noise, vibration and odor.
  • The noisiest construction activity will be pile driving necessary to build the new dock. This work will be limited to daylight hours, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., August through mid-February. Some nighttime work to complete other construction activities may also be needed.
  • Removal of creosote-coated timber piles can also cause vibration and odors. Our contractor will use best management practices to minimize these impacts.

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

Disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program

WSF has chosen the General Contractor/Construction Manager delivery method for the project. Hoffman-Pacific, a Joint Venture, was selected as the GC/CM in fall 2015 and has committed to maximizing opportunities for DBE firms. WSDOT has established a DBE goal of 12% of the project’s Maximum Allowable Construction Cost (MACC).

For questions about DBE opportunities on this project:
Andrew Powell, Hoffman-Pacific Project Manager

For information about certification and WSDOT’s DBE supportive services:
WSDOT Office of Equal Opportunity


  • $373 million dollars in federal, state and local funding has been appropriated for this project.
  • King County provided funding for replacement of the passenger-only ferry facility.

With secured funding, WSF can move forward with replacing the seismically-vulnerable elements of the facility to preserve Colman Dock’s core functions.


Broch Bender

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Marine insects called gribbles have bored holes into this cross section of timber pile that was removed from Colman Dock.

Much of Colman Dock is supported by aging timber piles.

An example of a deteriorating timber pile that has been removed and replaced at Colman Dock.

An example of a deteriorating timber pile that has been removed and replaced at Colman Dock

Colman Dock with construction crane.

Seattle's Colman Dock during the first phase of construction, September 2017

Birds eye view of Colman Dock under construction in September, 2017.

Colman Dock construction in mid-September 2017

Aerial view of Colman Dock with construction zone in the southwest corner of the dock. August 2017

Colman Dock at the start of construction in Aug. 2017

Conceptual design of the new facility

Conceptual design of the new facility.

Interior view of the terminal

Conceptual interior view of the new terminal building