Seattle’s Pier 57, closed for months after a huge chunk of nearby Pier 58 crashed into the water, received approval Monday to reopen to the public, clearing the way for the city to proceed with its downtown waterfront revitalization project.
The city posted a red tag on the privately owned Pier 57 — also known as Miner’s Landing — in mid-September, temporarily preventing access and operations, when the deteriorating Pier 58 collapsed, injuring two demolition workers. Since then, city officials have been working to remove parts of Pier 58, or Waterfront Park, according to a joint Monday statement from the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) and Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects.
Now, Miner’s Landing at Pier 57, crowded with seafood restaurants and shops, is making plans for a grand reopening, Pier 57 owner Hal Griffith said in the statement.
“We are excited to welcome everyone back to Pier 57,” Griffith said. “We are bringing back staff, re-stocking our restaurants and planning for a fun and safe grand re-opening with more announcements to come.”
Griffith has not yet announced an official reopening date.
About 90% of Pier 58 had been removed as of Monday, including the timber deck and the southern portion of a concrete terrace, ramps and stairs, the statement said. Crews are still working on concrete demolition, pile removal, material salvaging and removing other pieces from the water.
After successful removal of the southern terrace at Pier 58 earlier this month, “inspectors have coordinated with the City’s engineering consultant and inspected Pier 57 to confirm it can be safely reopened,” SDCI Director Nathan Torgelson said in the statement.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, in the statement, noted the city was now “able to take a major step forward in the emergency removal of the pier and the revitalization of our waterfront.”
Built in 1974, Pier 58 is located between the Great Wheel and the Seattle Aquarium. The section that collapsed, at the north end of the pier, was supported by steel-encased concrete piles. The pier, a public space with benches and telescopes, was found in August to be separating from the Elliott Bay Seawall. The city ordered the pier’s demolition on an emergency schedule.
At the time of the collapse in September, the workers were cutting a 20-inch-thick concrete wall away from the pier and working to remove weight as quickly as possible. State and federal workplace safety inspectors opened investigations into the incident the next day.
City officials expect the new design of Pier 58 to be 90% finalized in early 2021, and offer space for a new playground — for which more than 140 children and families have contributed ideas — and improve access, safety and flexibility, the statement said.
Construction is currently expected to begin in 2022 and to take about two years.
Staff reporter Daniel Beekman contributed to this report.