Reducing sewer overflows by 2025

Welcome to the Ship Canal Water Quality Project website! We’re happy you’re here. To learn about the project and work in your neighborhood, scroll down or click on a project area below.




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project area map showing construction area
Project Area (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Click on the project areas to learn more

About the project

Seattle Public Utilities and King County Wastewater Treatment Division are building an underground storage tunnel to significantly reduce the amount of polluted stormwater (from rain) and sewage that flows into the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Salmon Bay and Lake Union from our sewer system.

An aerial map of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project site. The base map shows the projected tunnel site as a dark blue line that runs from the eastern end of Fremont towards Ballard. A dotted line indicates the location of the existing pipe transfer, which runs from the end of the tunnel in Ballard to the West Point Treatment Plant, which is denoted as a black square. The areas served by the Ship Canal Water Quality project are highlighted in green and include: Crown Hill, Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and Downtown.
Map of storage tunnel alignment and the combined-sewer areas that will send flows to the new tunnel. (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Tunnel

Since the 1800s, 150 tunnels spanning over 70 miles have been constructed in Seattle for sewers, utility corridors and transportation needs. The Ship Canal Water Quality Project includes a 2.7-mile, 18-ft and 10-inch internal-diameter tunnel that will extend from Ballard to Wallingford. Tunneling operations will start in Ballard. The Ballard vertical access shaft will begin construction in 2020 and tunneling is planned to begin in early 2021.

Ballard

Ballard will be home to the western end of the tunnel and above-ground facilities supporting the tunnel. Tunnel boring will start at this site and move toward Fremont and Wallingford.

We started work at our site near 24th Ave NW and Shilshole Ave NW in 2018 to prepare for upcoming tunneling. This work includes soil remediation, utility relocation, 24th Ave Pier replacement and replacing a sewer outfall pipe.

Project elements in Ballard include:

  • A new 100-ft deep, 90-ft diameter shaft to hold pump station equipment and carry sewage and stormwater into the new storage tunnel
  • New pipes along NW 56th St, 28th Ave NW and 24th Ave NW to connect the shaft to Ballard’s existing combined sewer system
  • A large pump station that will take the flows from the tunnel and send them to West Point for treatment
  • A new 24th Ave Pier contains art inlays by artist Christian French
Excavators and construction crews prepare the future Ballard construction site at Shilshole Avenue Northwest and 24th Avenue Northwest on a sunny day.
Future Ballard construction area at Shilshole Ave NW and 24th Ave NW. (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Stay in touch

Richard Fernandez, PE - Project Manager
richard.fernandez@seattle.gov
206-684-0285

East Ballard

Construction in East Ballard will take place on NW 45th St between 11th Ave NW and 9th Ave NW and on 11th Ave NW just south of NW 45th St.

Project elements in East Ballard include:

  • A new 60-ft deep, 10-ft diameter vertical shaft to carry sewage to the new storage tunnel
  • New pipe installation along NW 45th St to connect the current sewer system to the new vertical shaft and storage tunnel
  • A new below-grade structure to house mechanical and electrical equipment and odor control
A four-way intersection near the future site of East Ballard vertical shaft at Northwest 45th Street and 11th Avenue Northwest.
Future site of East Ballard vertical shaft at NW 45th St and 11th Ave NW. (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Stay in touch

Stephanie Secord, PE - Project Manager
stephanie.secord@seattle.gov
206-386-9778

Fremont

Construction in Fremont will take place near the intersection of Leary Way NW, NW 36th St and 2nd Ave NW.

Project elements in Fremont include:

  • A new 85-ft deep, 32-ft diameter vertical shaft to carry sewage and stormwater into the new storage tunnel
  • New pipe installation to connect the new shaft to the existing sewer system
  • A new 8-ft diameter tunnel under the Ship Canal to carry flows from Queen Anne to the storage tunnel
  • A new underground structure to house mechanical and electrical equipment and odor control

Artists Preston Singletary and David Franklin are collaborating on artwork for the Fremont and Queen Anne sites.

A red brick building beside a tree with orange leaves in the future site of Fremont vertical shaft at Leary Way Northwest and Northwest 36th Street.
Future site of Fremont vertical shaft at Leary Way NW and NW 36th St. (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Stay in touch

Stephanie Secord, PE - Project Manager
stephanie.secord@seattle.gov
206-386-9778

Queen Anne

Construction in North Queen Anne will take place near West Ewing Mini Park and along 3rd Ave W.

Project elements in Queen Anne include:

  • A new 75-ft deep, 20-ft diameter vertical shaft to carry sewage and stormwater into the new tunnel under the Ship Canal
  • New pipe installation to connect the new shaft to the existing sewer system
  • A new 8-ft diameter tunnel under the Ship Canal to carry flows from Queen Anne to the storage tunnel

Artists Preston Singletary and David Franklin are collaborating on artwork for the Fremont and Queen Anne sites.

A yellow excavator surrounded by orange cones is situated next to trees at the future site of Queen Anne vertical shaft at the end of W Ewing St from across the Ship Canal in Fremont.
Future site of Queen Anne vertical shaft at the end of W Ewing St from across the Ship Canal in Fremont. (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Stay in touch

Stephanie Secord, PE - Project Manager
stephanie.secord@seattle.gov
206-386-9778

Wallingford

Wallingford marks the eastern end of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project and the location where tunneling will end underneath N 35th St and Interlake Ave N.

Construction will take place on Stone Way N, N 35th St and Interlake Ave N.

Project elements in Wallingford include:

  • A new 60-ft deep, 30-ft diameter vertical shaft near Stone Way N and N 35th St to convey stormwater and sewage into the tunnel
  • New pipe installation along Stone Way N and N 35th St to connect the current sewer system to the new vertical shaft
  • A new small, above-ground maintenance and odor control building near 3500 Interlake Ave N

Artist Ryan! Feddersen is working to design an art installation at the project site.

A fence encases the future site of Wallingford vertical shaft at North 35th Street and Interlake Avenue North on a cloudy day.
Future site of Wallingford vertical shaft at N 35th St and Interlake Ave N. (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Stay in touch

Kelsey Hinsperger, PE - Project Manager
Kelsey.Hinsperger@seattle.gov
206-684-0411