Seattle's central waterfront extends nearly two miles along the shores of Elliott Bay on Puget Sound. For several years the city has been imagining and planning for what the waterfront could look like with the replacement of the Elliott Bay Seawall, and when the Alaskan Way Viaduct (double-decked elevated section of 99) is removed in 2016 and replaced with a tunnel.
A ''Design Summary'' for Seattle's central waterfront has been prepared.1 The designing principles are:
1. Create a waterfront for all.
2. Put the shoreline (Elliott Bay) and innovative, sustainable design at the forefront.
3. Reconnect the city to its waterfront.
4. Embrace and celebrate Seattle’s past, present and future.
5. Improve access and mobility; accommodate safe, comfortable and efficient travel by pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles and freight.
6. Create a bold vision that is adaptable over time.
7. Develop consistent leadership–from concept to construction to operations.
The waterfront revitalization price tag is estimated at $420 million, half of which will come from a local improvement district funded by downtown property owners, with the rest from city taxpayers and private donors. When combined with the state funding for rebuilding the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the seawall the total bill could exceed $1 billion.
The public sentiment is to preserve views of Elliott Bay and create open spaces for gatherings and walking. Design elements thus include a tree-lined Alaskan Way, a promenade, bike lanes, plazas, sidewalk cafes, overlooks, and a pool on a moveable barge in a waterfront park near the Seattle Aquarium. A new beach is planned to reconnect Pioneer Square with the waterfront. A walkway with dramatic views of the bay will link Pike Place Market with the Seattle Aquarium.
1. The Design Summary is by James Corner Field Operations; CH2MHill; Shiels Obletz Johnsen, Inc.; SHoP Architects; Mithun; Berger Partnership; Nelson/ Nygaard; Parsons Brinkerhoff; Parametrix; EnviroIssues; Creative Time; Mark Dion; Erik Fredericksen; and Tomato. To view the plan, visit http://waterfrontseattle.org.