Seattle Culture

How Seattle’s Waterfront Plan Took Shape

See Seattle waterfront's milestones

By Erica C. Barnett February 25, 2019


This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the March 2019 issue and is part of our Seattle Waterfront feature. Click here to subscribe.

February: Nisqually Earthquake occurs and damages the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct

January: City, county and state governments agree to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel

December: City forms Central Waterfront Partnerships Committee

September: James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) selected to design Seattle’s waterfront park

January: Seattle City Council creates Central Waterfront Committee (CWC); public outreach begins

August: Seattle City Council adopts JCFO concept design and CWC strategic plan

Summer: Friends of Waterfront Seattle is incorporated

November: Voters approve bond for new seawall

November: Seawall construction begins

July: Tunnel-boring machine “Bertha” begins work on the Viaduct replacement tunnel

December: Bertha stalls

February: The city’s Office of the Waterfront is formed

August: Voters approve metropolitan park district to create sustainable funding source for Seattle parks

March: City Council authorizes Pike Place Market MarketFront expansion

June: MarketFront expansion breaks ground

August: City Council and mayor approve master plan for aquarium expansion

December: Bertha resumes tunnel-boring work

July: City Council approves Pier 62 rebuild

April: Bertha finishes tunnel-boring work

June: MarketFront opens

August: City Council releases local improvement district (LID) feasibility study

September: City Council adopts a resolution affirming the LID funding approach for the waterfront

Fall: Groundbreaking for Pier 62 rebuild; seawall replacement project complete

City Council reaches out to property owners who would be affected by LID tax

January: City Council considers LID legislation; Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed

February: The new State Route 99 tunnel opens

Late winter and spring: Alaskan Way Viaduct is removed

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