Ship Canal Water Quality project update 2/9/21

Seattle Public Utilities and King County logos - white
Ship Canal logoThe tunnel boring machine getting assembled

Dear neighbors,
We're busy assembling the tunnel boring machine (TBM) on our Ballard site (see photo above), and soon, we'll be asking you to help us name it! Look for official naming contest information in a future update.

See additional photos from recent construction activities on Flickr.


Over the next few weeks, we'll continue installing the final concrete walls for the vertical shaft and assembling the TBM. Additionally, we'll pave the Ballard site so we have a flat work surface when tunneling begins. During this time, you can expect:

  • More heavy equipment to arrive on site, such as cranes.
  • Intermittent days of large concrete pours. On these days there will be many trucks delivering concrete to the site, back to back. Work on these pour days may occur well beyond regular working hours due to the amount of concrete that needs to be placed. 

Working hours are expected to be 7 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday. We also anticipate working weekends over the next few months to prepare for tunneling.

East Ballard

Crews will continue soil stabilization and ground improvement work in NW 45th St. During these activities, you should anticipate:

  • NW 45th St closed to traffic; vehicles must detour onto NW 46th St.
  • Burke-Gilman Trail users remain detoured to the north side of NW 45th St; flaggers to help direct traffic during daytime working hours. Please follow all detour guidance on site. Bicyclists must cross train tracks at 90-degree angles. Please use extra caution in wet weather as ramps may be slippery.
  • Both lanes of 11th Ave NW south of NW 45th St will be open beginning in mid-February and will remain open for about six weeks.
  • Noise and vibrations typical of a construction site.

Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.

See anticipated traffic impacts through 2021 on our website.


Over the next few weeks, crews will excavate the vertical shaft and begin utility work in NW 36th St. You should anticipate:

  • Dump trucks and excavators working on site and an uptick in traffic in Leary Way NW as trucks haul away excavated material.
  • NW 36th St between Leary Way NW and 3rd Ave NW closed (through remainder of the project).
  • Pedestrians detoured to the north side of Leary Way NW.
  • A pump and bypass system running 24/7 to re-route an existing drainage line around the secant pile construction. This system is powered by a generator and will be in place for several more weeks.
  • Generators running constantly to power the dewatering pumps until permanent power is available on site.

As early as mid-March, crews will install a new water main in Leary Way NW. This work will close up to two travel lanes at a time, but two-way traffic will be maintained and assisted by flaggers. If you live near the site, you may experience a short, temporary water shut off. If your service will be impacted, you'll receive a door hanger with more information. 

Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.


Secant pile wall construction is underway and is anticipated to last through mid-April. So far crews have completed about 10 of 101 piles. For the next several weeks, you should anticipate:

  • Heavy equipment on site such as the drill rig, an oscillator, and a crane.
    Trucks coming in and out of the site to haul away excavated material and deliver concrete.
  • Noise from the drill rig. This rig is loud and work will start as early as 7 am as allowed by City of Seattle code. We start early in the morning to allow the contractor to complete more of the work during daylight hours to improve safety, to maximize the use of expensive, heavy machinery each day and, to complete work as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
  • Vibration from the drill rig. You may be able to feel the vibration in your home or business. This is expected. We are monitoring vibration levels on site to ensure they are within allowable levels.
  • Noise from 24/7 on-site generators currently used to power equipment. The generators were placed inside wooden enclosures to lessen noise impacts, and we will continue to look for additional noise-dampening measures while we work towards getting power on site.

Normal work hours are from 7am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, although work may extend into the early evening, on occasion to complete the concreting of a pile. It’s possible the contractor may also work on Saturdays as needed.

Queen Anne

Over the next few weeks, crews will continue excavating the vertical shaft and will pour the concrete floor. During this time, you should anticipate:

  • Trucks coming in and out of the site to haul away excavated material and to deliver concrete.
  • Noise and vibrations typical of a construction site.
  • The West Ewing Mini Park parking lot closed. This closure is anticipated to last through mid-2023.
  • A localized Ship Canal Trail detour through summer 2022 (see map).

Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.

Contact us

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

Have you signed up for AlertSeattle?

Alert Seattle logo

AlertSeattle is the official emergency notification system used by the City of Seattle to communicate with city residents during emergencies. Sign up now to receive free alerts from the City via text message, email, voice message or social media.

  • To sign-up for AlertSeattle, click here
  • To update your existing AlertSeattle preferences, click here to access your account

Click here for more information

Visit our website

Washington State Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection Agency logos