Ship Canal Water Quality project update

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Dear neighbors,

At the City of Seattle, we are continuing to follow guidance from federal, state, and local leaders and our public health partners regarding COVID-19. State officials have determined that work on public works projects can continue during the Governor’s stay-at-home order provided that appropriate safety measures are in place.  

Seattle Public Utilities is continuing with essential public works projects to the greatest extent practicable during these times. The health and safety of our workers and the public is our first priority. Our contractors have updated their Health and Safety Plans to incorporate best management practices with respect to COVID-19 throughout our construction work sites. If a situation arises where a contractor is unable to maintain these practices on a work site, or the Governor orders that public works projects must stop, the contractor shall temporarily suspend work until the work can be performed safely and legally. 

We will notify you if there are any changes to the project schedule or planned work.

You can learn more about COVID-19 at 

Additional community resources can be found at 


If you're anywhere near our Ballard site, there's a good chance you can spot our crane in the skyline. Check out this boom! In early April, the crane arrived in pieces on several semi-trucks from the mid-west. Crews spent last week assembling the crane which will assist with slurry wall construction (the slurry wall is the excavation support for our deep vertical shaft). See crane assembly photos!

Some fun crane tidbits:

  • Our crane is a Liebherr LR 1300 and it can be configured in lots of ways.
  • Our boom is currently 250-ft long.
  • The lifting capacity of the crane changes depending on how far away the load is. For example, our crane could lift a 100-ton load if it was only 30 feet away (that's about 65 Ford Focus sedans)! If the load was much farther away, the lifting capacity would decrease. At a distance of 350 feet, the crane could only lift about 2 tons (a mid-sized SUV).
  • Why do we need a crane with this lifting capacity? To construct the slurry wall, we'll be lifting large reinforcement cages (about 80-ft long), placing them in the slurry wall excavation, and securing panels with concrete (more on this in a later update).
Crane operator looking up at boom

Over the last few weeks, crews have:

In the next few weeks, crews will excavate and cast guide walls for slurry wall construction. Slurry wall construction usually begins with crews installing small walls that outline the shaft and guide the excavation machinery. The guide walls are about 3-ft deep and 2-ft thick. 

Near-term anticipated construction impacts include:

  • increased truck traffic on Shilshole Ave NW and 24th Ave NW; please pay attention to flaggers.
  • parking restrictions along the east side of 24th Ave NW so construction trucks can exit the work site.
  • noise and vibrations related to excavation and concrete pours.

East Ballard

Construction will start on 11th Ave NW and NW 45th St (near Fred Meyer) as early as late April. See the diagram below for anticipated construction sequencing and visit our website for more information. One of the first activities you'll see is the crew setting up the Burke-Gilman Trail detour.

We'll share more detailed schedule information when we're nearing mobilization.

Map showing construction phases in East Ballard


Construction in Fremont, near NW 36th St and 2nd Ave NW, is now anticipated to begin in early May. Visit our website for more information.

We'll share more detailed schedule information when we're nearing mobilization.


Crews moved equipment to our Wallingford site at Interlake Ave N and N 35th St to prepare for screen wall construction last week. Construction of the screen wall will take about three to six weeks. See photo below.

Screen wall equipment on the Wallingford site

The Wallingford site is now closed to public parking. Additional construction activities are anticipated to begin until July 2020. For more information, see our latest fact sheet.

Queen Anne

Construction in North Queen Anne is planned to begin in July 2020 and will take place near West Ewing Mini Park and along 3rd Ave W.

See our latest fact sheet for more information.

Contact us

Please email with questions or comments or call (206) 701-0233. You can also find information online at


Visit our website

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