(The Center Square) – Construction has begun on a replacement pedestrian bridge that is expected to connect millions of commuters to Seattle’s waterfront each year.
The Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge will be a cast-in-place post-tensioned concrete bridge that will provide a 16-foot-wide pathway instead of the original 13 feet. New lighting will be installed above and below the bridge to improve safety and nighttime travel along the waterfront.
The bridge will provide a connection between First Avenue and Colman Dock on Marion Street. It will meet the existing bridge at Western Ave a few blocks away and span the recently completed Alaskan Way.
Angela Brady, director of the Office of Waterfront and Civic Projects, highlighted aspects of the future bridge that make it safe for pedestrians to and from downtown.
“We look forward to providing a clear connection to the ferry terminal, which will make navigating this busy area easier,” Brady said in a statement Monday. “The new bridge will provide a more enjoyable and safer experience for commuters and provide a unique architectural vantage point to enjoy Seattle’s new waterfront.”
The project is estimated at $6.3 million, according to the Seattle Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects. It is jointly funded by the City of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation.
According to the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects, Seattle and WSDOT worked closely on project specifics to “create efficiencies for the construction of the new Alaskan Way, Marion Street Bridge and Colman Dock, while maintaining access to and from the ferry terminal.
Talks began between the city and the WSDOT in the summer of 2018.
Currently, there is a temporary bridge located at Marion Street, Western Ave, and Columbia Street that allows pedestrians to travel from the waterfront to downtown since the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
The temporary bridge will be functional until the completion of the new Marion Street Bridge, which is expected to open next summer, according to the Office of Waterfront and Civic Projects.
The entire waterfront construction project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, including the removal of the temporary bridge.