FALL 2014

Season Two of the Elliott Bay Seawall Construction

Posted on October 1, 2014

by Scott Goss

The Elliott Bay Seawall (EBSP) construction has been ongoing since October 2013. Summer 2014 scope was limited to work under piers and south of Colman Dock. Work for Season 2 starts today (October 1st), with immediate impacts on utilities – SG3’s primary focus. The summer has seen design and installation of temporary water and sewer systems, as well as lots of coordination and design for private gas, steam and telecommunications facilities. We’re looking to accomplish a seamless cut over to the temporary systems. All the existing systems within our demolition zone must be abandoned or removed before old seawall removal begins. There is a fleet of small boats with mechanical and electrical trade crews building temporary systems.

The next two weeks will see all the private utilities finishing up and switching over. This is when the rubber meets the road. As utility coordinators, we make the meetings happen, track the activity and get work scheduled. We can’t see behind the scenes, though, on whether a utility or their contractor or subcontractor has ordered materials in a timely fashion or actually hired enough workers to finish on schedule. So, we’ll see how it goes and stay on top of everything, no doubt dealing with something that pops up every day.


We have participated in pull planning sessions that lay out each step required in the order needed. The result is a lot of colored notes on the wall. Everyone sees a little bit more of their peer specialists’ point of view. One person might seem to think only about storage, lay down space and equipment movement, while others focus on excavation and construction. We focus on utility service continuity to keep the lights on and the water flowing.

I think of this as surgery to replace the nervous (electrical) system, the circulatory (water and wastewater) system, the skeleton (seawall structure) and even the skin and hair (surfaces, roads and public features like benches). A full body transplant where we have to keep the patient alive with the temporary and restored utilities.

So, take a few deep breaths and get ready, get set… Go!

PS: Here is SDOT’s website post about Season 2 construction start.

Installing Wall Panels on the Elliott Bay Seawall – Season Two

Posted on  October 15, 2014

by John Roth III

The Elliott Bay Seawall's Season 2 construction is moving along. We thought it might be helpful to provide some walk-through of how the actual wall panel installation is happening. The first set of prefab panels has been completed near the south end of Colman Dock (WA State Ferry Terminal).


Here’s the vicinity:

Here’s a still shot with some descriptive notes from the accompanying SDOT video of the first prefab wall panels being installed:

From a utility perspective, one challenging aspect is the coordination of detailed locations for 124 utility penetrations through the face of the wall. This includes defining the stationing and elevation, as well as the relationship to other utilities for weight distribution and order of installation. We also must avoid interference on the water side from utility hanger systems and on the landside for items like vaults, fittings, utility crossings, future light pole bases, etc. We review shop drawings for every face panel to make sure the utility accommodations are properly located and sized. Every blockout requires custom formwork, ranging from simple edge blockouts to large field blockouts requiring redesign of reinforcing steel. We pay attention to lifting points, adjusting bolts, corbels for attaching the face panels to the support slab and the pattern of the steel reinforcement. Although some of the physical utility accommodations are fairly easy to change later, these blockouts are literally cast in concrete. Every review has to be thorough. Mistakes are very difficult to fix.

Blockout notch at the top of the wall for a planned electrical bank serving the Water Taxi




 WINTER 2014/2015




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