Local Officials, Engineers Herald Seattle’s Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock at Latest Roadshow Stop


On Wednesday, April 3rd, the replacement project for Seattle’s Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock, one of the world’s busiest ferry terminals, was showcased by local officials and engineers as part of the Engineering and Public Works Roadshow. The Colman Dock serves as an example of how comprehensive infrastructure investment can promote equity within a community and drive economic growth.

Speakers at the event included Roger Millar, Secretary, Washington State Department of Transportation and Past-President of ASCE’s Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI); Angela Brady, City of Seattle Director of Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects and APWA Board Member; Van Collins, President and CEO of ACEC Washington; David Sowers, Director of Terminal Engineering & Construction for Washington State Ferries; and Mike Wray, Sr Vice President/Engineer Diver for WSP USA, US Maritime Division. 

Colman Dock’s Critical Infrastructure Role

Supporting more than 10 million passengers for Washington State Ferries each year, the Colman Dock plays a critical role as a transportation hub for residents throughout the region and is recognized as a landmark along Seattle’s scenic waterfront. 

As the structures were aging and vulnerable to seismic impacts, the reconstruction of the dock and terminal was critical to better withstand environmental impact. The project also included expanding facilities to accommodate additional passengers and vendors, turning the terminal into a local attraction for Seattle residents and visitors.

Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock

Roger Millar, Secretary, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Effective project management has allowed for Washington State Ferries to continue serving its 10 million annual passengers without delay from the construction process of the project. 

Showcasing Transformative Infrastructure Projects Across America

The Roadshow is a collaboration between the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The Roadshow marks the first time the leading organizations representing the designers and public operators of America’s infrastructure have joined together to spotlight what successful infrastructure investment means for the nation’s economy, jobs, the environment, and our future. 

The Seattle Colman Dock event is the Roadshow’s sixth stop since its creation in late 2022. Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar, of the Washington State Department of Transportation and past-president, ASCE Transportation & Development Institute said:

“To me, investment in transportation is a means to multiple ends. Well-executed transportation projects support economic vitality, environmental stewardship and resilience, social equity and access to opportunity, public health and aesthetic quality. I’m proud to say our Colman Dock project brings all of those benefits for Seattle, the state and the region.”

From right to left: Angela Brady, representing APWA, Roger Millar, representing ASCE; David Sowers, representing Washington State Ferries; Mike Wray, representing WSP USA; and Van Collins, representing ACEC.

“It was just a few short years ago that a looming, gigantic double-decker concrete freeway – the Alaskan Way Viaduct – formed a solid barrier between our downtown neighborhoods and our waterfront,” said APWA Washington Chapter Member and City of Seattle Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects Director Angela Brady. “The viaduct’s removal in 2019 has provided us with the incredible opportunity to reconnect downtown Seattle to our uniquely beautiful waterfront on Elliott Bay, and to build more than 20 acres of new public open spaces and parks that Seattle can be proud of. ” 

ACEC-Washington President Van Collins stated: 

“Everyone here today agrees that the Colman Dock is a wonderful, tangible, and visible example of the quality of transportation and infrastructure projects being performed in Washington State. Yet, speaking on behalf of consulting engineering firms, I can honestly say it should not be surprising.  Washington’s engineering talent, whether public or private, is second to none, and the Colman Dock is proof of the vast public benefit such expertise has produced and will produce in the years to come. Maybe even more importantly, the Dock and other such infrastructure projects will hopefully entice more of our youth, our future engineers, to dream about how they could be part of something so consequential.” 

The nearly $500 million construction project faces Seattle’s iconic waterfront and seating capacity in the expanded 20,000 square-foot terminal triples that of the past terminal. 

Since the Colman Dock multimodal project began construction in 2017, the project has integrated:

  • A new passenger-only ferry terminal on the south side of Colman Dock for the King County Water Taxi and Kitsap Transit.
  • An elevated walkway between the terminal building and the passenger-only ferry facility.
  • A new overhead loading passenger structure on the north end of the terminal.
  • The timber trestle portion of the dock with a new concrete and steel trestle for vehicle staging and loading/unloading.
  • The full passenger terminal building.

Roadshow speakers said it will not be fully realized without an expanded and robust workforce as the federal government continues to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

They said students nationwide must be educated about the rewarding careers of civil engineering and public works so these professions have the necessary staffing to complete transformative projects.

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