Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock Project - What to expect during construction

March construction update

View photos and video of crews building your new Colman Dock.

The entire north half of our Seattle terminal is now under construction and closed to vehicles waiting for a ferry. The toll plaza and the vehicle waiting lanes south of the terminal building remains open while the north half is closed. 

When the waiting lanes are full, drivers will be directed to wait at the off-site overflow vehicle waiting area located near the drive-on entrance on Pier 48. Drivers should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before their scheduled sailing to accommodate the smaller dock, especially during peak commute times. These changes are needed so crews can rebuild the north half of the dock while continuing construction of the new terminal building and the passenger-only ferry facility on the south half. 

Coming soon: Several vehicle holding lanes will shift locations to make room for construction of a temporary elevated walkway connecting the Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge to the new terminal building. Construction is expected to start in early April. 

More changes for drivers, pedestrians, and bicycles now in effect.

Why are these changes needed?

  • Shifting the vehicle holding areas allows us to make the most efficient use of available vehicle holding space on the dock as construction expands through mid-summer 2019.
  • This change also allows us to offer full ferry service for millions of commuters and ferry riders while working to rebuild the aging and seismically-vulnerable Seattle ferry terminal at the same time. 

What else is being done to maximize room for vehicles waiting for the ferry at Colman Dock? 

  • Our contractor is using up to three barges at a time to operate very large construction cranes and stage necessary equipment that would otherwise need to be stored on the dock. We are working on four different sections of the project at the same time. Crews are building the new passenger-only ferry terminal and the first section of the new main ferry terminal building while demolishing the northwest corner of the main terminal building in use today and rebuilding the entire north half of the trestle, between the terminal building and the temporary passenger-only ferry dock
  • All of the work on this complex project is happening while we maintain full ferry service to and from Seattle. ​

Noise and odor expected during construction Fall 2018 through mid-February 2019

Nearly all of the seismically vulnerable dock located on the north side of the terminal building will be removed down to the water line and replaced with a sturdy steel and concrete deck, supported by large steel piles.


Demolition of the existing dock requires us to pull out smelly creosote wooden support beams and parts of the deck that have not seen the light of day in 70 years. Doing this work during the colder, wetter months helps to minimize the odor. 

  • Customers may smell pungent marine odors caused by pulling out old support beams and exposing the underside of the existing north trestle dock as it is demolished and removed. 
  • The odor is non-toxic and will be contained as much as possible.
  • All creosote wooden beams will be stored on a barge and covered in plastic during non-working hours. They will be removed and disposed of regularly. 
  • It is normal to see a creosote sheen on the water while we are pulling out old creosote-treated piles. We will use an absorbent creosote sheen containment boom to surround the active worksite.


Installing large steel support columns is noisy work and will only be done during daylight hours. 

  • We will minimize loud impact pile driving by vibrating the piles as deep as possible. Customers may feel vibrations inside the terminal building and in the vehicle holding lanes on the opposite end of the dock. 
  • In most cases, loud impact pile driving will only be used to drive in the last section of each pile so that it is firmly embedded into the sea floor.
  • Disposable earplugs are available to customers at Colman Dock. Speak with a terminal staff member, or visit the information booth inside the terminal building, to get a pair., 

Protecting marine mammals and Marbled Murrelets during pile-driving work

We have a team of observers watching the water for whales, orcas, seals and other marine mammals as well as Marbled Murrelets, an endangered sea bird.

  • We stop all loud work such as installing steel piles when these animals are near Colman Dock.
  • We also stop work when observers can't see the surface of the water due to dense fog or weather. 

Terminal space is limited during construction through early 2023

Through Mid- 2019 

Map of construction areas through mid 2019 on Colman Dock

The passenger terminal building remains open, but it is much smaller and has fewer amenities. A smaller terminal building allows crews enough room to work as safely and efficiently as possible while we maintain full ferry service. The passenger-only ferry dock, servicing the King County Water Taxi and the Kitsap Transit Fast Ferry, opens to the public in summer 2019.

The smaller terminal building maintains:

  • Ticket sales
  • ADA accessible restrooms 
  • Some seating
  • Limited food options
  • Information booth
  • Visual paging services
  • Full ferry service with no cuts to the number of sailings
  • Pedestrian connections to Alaskan Way and the Marion Street Bridge 

Summer 2019 until project completion in 2023

Map of Colman Dock starting in summer 2019

The entire former terminal building is demolished. Full ferry service to and from Bainbridge Island and Bremerton continues to operate out of the southern half of the new terminal building. Elevated walkways connect to the King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit Fast Ferry passenger-only ferry dock and to Alaskan Way and the Marion Street Bridge.