Seattle has begun work on a new pedestrian bridge that will connect Pike Place Market to the downtown waterfront.
Dubbed the Overlook Walk, the bridge will span the Alaskan Way, with one arm descending directly to a new waterfront promenade and another arm extending to the roof of a new Seattle Aquarium pavilion. Construction of the bridge began last week, the Seattle Times‘ Office of the Waterfront said. The promenade and the pavilion of the aquarium for sharks and stingrays are also currently under construction.
In addition to stairs, the bridge will include slopes and a new elevator, according to the Office of the Waterfront. Stylish seats for concerts and a new café, as well as slides and other “play elements” for children.
The Overlook Walk project is part of a massive redevelopment of downtown Seattle made possible by the removal of the Alaskan Way viaduct in 2019. The price of the pedestrian bridge is about 70 million US dollars. The cost of the entire redevelopment program is more than $750 million, borne by the city, state, private donors and a special tax on downtown property owners levied by a “local improvement district.”
Friends of the Waterfront Seattle, a non-profit organization that will manage the operations of the rehabilitated Waterfront, is expected to raise $110 million from private donors. The organization had raised $84 million by December.
Expected to open by 2025, the pedestrian bridge will connect to the “MarketFront” addition to Pike Place Market, which was completed in 2017.
There will be two permanent art installations on the bridge: undulating, doll-like fabric figures by Ann Hamilton and a Coast Salish basket-inspired sculpture by the MTK Matriarchs, a team of three.
The City Council voted in 2019 to contribute $34 million in property tax revenue towards the aquarium’s $113 million new Ocean Pavilion. The aquarium’s plan for the building, which is slated to open in 2024, calls for a 325,000-gallon tank filled with sharks, stingrays and fish from the South Pacific.
The bank rehabilitation also includes a new Alaskan Way with two lanes of general traffic in each direction, plus one bus lane in each direction and two turning lanes for ferry traffic near Colman Dock.