Tag Archives: WSDOT

Working from Barges – Seattle’s Colman Dock Project Underway


Colman Dock in Seattle is the largest Washington State Ferries terminal and supports transportation across Puget Sound between downtown Seattle and communities in Kitsap County and the Olympic Peninsula. 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 Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has undertaken an enormous project to repair the multimodal terminal at Colman Dock without interruption to ferry service.

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

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

Working from barges will help increase space on Colman Dock during construction.  WSDOT notes “Our contractor is using multiple barges at a time to stage construction equipment and huge cranes used to rebuild Colman Dock. Working from the water allows us to reduce our shore side construction zone footprint in every stage of the project. Smaller construction zones mean more room on the dock for vehicle holding.”

For a full description and details, see the WSDOT page dedicated to the project.  More pictures are available on the WSDOT Flickr page, as well.


Big, New Seattle Tunnel Will Need Tiny Trucks to Maintain It

When a really big tunnel needs really small trucks…


When the SR 99 tunnel opens, a fleet of tiny trucks will help WSDOT crews maintain the tunnel – traveling in places most of us will never see. While you drive underneath Seattle, your car might be just a few feet above maintenance workers doing their jobs in these bright, yellow trucks.

All nine trucks are electric and will be housed in the tunnel’s north operations building where they can be recharged by simply plugging them into a standard outlet.

Bigger maintenance jobs will require bigger equipment, like bucket trucks and flatbed lift trucks. All total, more than 30 pieces of equipment will make up the tunnel maintenance fleet dedicated to traffic and maintenance inside Seattle’s newest tunnel.

The tunnel could open as soon as this fall, after an approximately three-week viaduct closure to realign SR 99 into the new tunnel.