SEATTLE (September 13, 2020) – During emergency active pier removal on Sunday, the northeast corner of Pier 58 collapsed. Understanding that there was continued deterioration of the structure, the team was in the process of removing a concrete section of the pier to delay further pier movement.
Since August 6, the pier has been closed to the public after initial concerns of deterioration and the potential for failure. The pier has been monitored for decades, and in recent weeks, there were digital monitoring systems installed to detect any movement. The monitoring system alerted crews to the structural collapse during today’s events.
Seven people were working on the pier when the collapse occurred. In addition to safety protocols in place for this work, there were multiple points of egress available in case of an emergency and most workers were able to exit using those, while two workers fell into the water and were quickly removed from the water before the Seattle Fire Department arrived. All workers on the pier were wearing personal flotation devices as specified by safety protocols. The two workers were treated by Seattle Fire medics and transported to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition.
There is no observed damage to Pier 59 (Seattle Aquarium), or Pier 57 (Miner’s Landing). There is also no observed damage to the adjacent seawall. There is additional fencing around the perimeter of the site for safety.
The City will continue removing Pier 58 as soon as it is safe to do so and will evaluate the best approach, understanding the pier continues to be unstable. An update on how pier removal will continue will be available later this week.
Public safety actions summary:
On August 6, Seattle Parks and Recreation staff were alerted to a possible shifting of Pier 58, confirmed that the pier had shifted several inches and immediately shut off public access, placing fencing and barricades to protect public safety.
On August 14, Mayor Durkan approved the plan for emergency removal of Pier 58 and urged the public to respect barriers and stay away from Pier 58.
On August 26, the City hired Orion Marine Contractors, Inc. to perform the emergency work and remove all of Pier 58, beginning as soon as possible. The barge for pier removal arrived on site on September 4 to begin salvage work ahead of pier removal. On September 11, due to accelerated deterioration of the pier, the City shared that they would work through the weekend, with plans to continue construction seven days a week, during daylight hours, until further notice. This work began yesterday.
Pier 58 history:
Pier 58 is a public park built in 1974, owned by Seattle Parks and Recreation. Pier 58 is an aging piece of infrastructure long slated for a significant overhaul and its replacement was already planned and funded as part of the City’s Waterfront Seattle Program. Having funding already in place for a new Pier 58 allowed the City to move quickly in removing the existing pier.
Construction of a new Pier 58 park pier is planned for 2022. The new pier will improve public access, create an inviting space for families, provide open views to Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, and include a children’s playground. It will also improve the salmon habitat and migration corridor.