Archived Project Updates

June 2020

Slurry wall construction begins in Ballard!

The slurry wall is a reinforced-concrete circular structure that will allow for safe excavation of the vertical shaft, which will ultimately bring stormwater and sewage flows into the new storage tunnel. The vertical shaft will also be the starting point for the tunnel boring machine that will begin its journey next year.

This work includes putting rebar steel cages inside 210-ft deep trenches and filling them with concrete. You can expect a large uptick in equipment and trucks going in and out of the work site to support this construction.

Equipment has moved on to the Ballard site to prepare for slurry wall construction.
Equipment used for Ballard slurry wall construction.

May 2020

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ...crane!

If you’re passing by our Ballard site, take a look up and check out the 250-ton crane towering over the work zone! The crane arrived from the mid-west in early April and crews have been busy assembling this massive piece of equipment.

The crane’s first assignment is to assist with slurry wall construction, one of the earliest phases for vertical shaft construction. It will be an 87-ft diameter, 210-ft deep, 4-ft thick reinforced concrete circular structure which will keep walls from collapsing during shaft excavation. You may experience additional noise and vibrations associated with this work.

Eventually, when the shaft is complete, we'll launch our tunnel boring machine through it!

Video of the Crane at the Ballard site

crane operator looks up at a crane
Crane at the Ballard work zone

April 2020

Ballard’s 24th Ave NW Pier is open to the public!

We are pleased to share that the 24th Ave NW Pier has been temporarily re-opened to the public!

It will close again in late August to support construction activities, so we hope you get a chance to enjoy it while the sun is out this summer. Next year, crews will use the pier to carry tunnel spoils away by barge, which will reduce the number of truck trips needed and help mitigate traffic impacts.

a pier strethes out into the water with sailboats in the background
The 24th Ave NW Pier is temporarily re-opened for public use

February 2020

Construction in Ballard will begin as early as February 20

Starting the week of February 20, crews wil begin installing a 12’ high sound wall, stormwater controls, and dewatering equipment at the Ballard site. For more information, please see a copy of the construction flyer that went out to more than 2,100 businesses and residents near the work site.

Thank you!

Thank you to all who attended our Ballard drop-in session on Dec. 11, 2019, to learn more about construction in 2020. If you were not able to attend, we have uploaded a PDF version of the meeting boards for you to read at your leisure.

We appreciate the nearly 500 people who took time to fill out our survey on Ballard's 24th Ave NW street end designs. The survey is now closed. Stay tuned for next steps!

December 2019

Take our survey on Ballard's 24th Ave NW street end designs through Jan. 10 2020

Thank you to all who attended our Ballard drop-in session on Dec. 11, 2019, to learn more about construction in 2020. If you were not able to attend, we have uploaded a PDF version of the meeting boards for you to read at your leisure.

We would also love to hear your thoughts on the designs for the 24th Ave NW street end in Ballard. Please complete this survey available through Jan. 10, to provide feedback. We appreciate you taking the time to help us learn more about what you want to see once construction is complete!

View archived survey page.

November 2019

November Public art update

Over the summer, our Wallingford artist, RYAN! Feddersen, asked community members what water means to them. Their responses inspired her to create temporary artwork along the Ship Canal alignment that is activated by rain. Next time you’re walking along the tunnel alignment, take a look at the sidewalk and learn about why your neighbors value water. The installations are expected to last between four and six months.

map of locations for artwork
Discover RYAN!’s artwork at each of the locations marked on the map. (Click or tap image to enlarge)
art on sidewalk reading waterways are our streets are our waterways
Artwork activated by water on the sidewalk. (Click or tap image to enlarge)

October 2019

Early work at our Ballard site is underway!

Crews are preparing our Ballard site for tunneling. Here are the activities they’re working on:

  • Replacing the 24th Ave NW Pier to prepare for removing tunnel spoils by barge
  • Replacing the outfall pipe under the pier
  • Relocating utilities
  • Removing contaminated soils from the shaft site

Public art

Local artist Vaughn Bell is leading several artists to install permanent artwork along the storage tunnel alignment across all five neighborhoods. Artists will use a wide variety of mediums, materials and techniques to make our underground infrastructure and regional water quality improvements more visible.

Some goals of the Ship Canal public art include:

  • Increasing public awareness of the function of water quality projects and infrastructure
  • Making an invisible system more visible
  • Connecting people to the flow of water in their city, their home and local ecology
  • Creating meaningful, inspiring and thought-provoking art experiences in the public realm

Artwork will include both permanent and temporary installations.