Ship Canal Water Quality Project is underway in Ballard

The massive project to improve water quality in the Ship Canal started this week in Ballard.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is building a 2.7-mile tunnel along the Ship Canal that will hold up to 29 million gallons of stormwater and sewage during heavy rains, which will then be diverted to King County’s West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Work began at SPU’s Ballard Operations Building site (5300 24th Ave NW) this week with crews mobilizing equipment, building temporary fencing and delivering construction materials to the site. Crews also set up temporary environmental control measure to protect trees (photo below), performed construction surveys, and did soil sampling around the site.

Upcoming work includes digging pits at NW 54th St and 24th Ave NW and installing a new water main extension under the Ballard Terminal Railroad. They’re digging trenches along the railroad to avoid disrupting railroad operations, and will place a silt boom or curtain) to protect water quality to the Ship Canal and Salmon Bay during construction. And soon, a barge will be arriving on site to prepare for pile installation for a new pier.

Crews will be out working Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm. During construction, you can expect restricted parking along 24th Ave NW, and extra construction noise, dust and vibrations in the area.

The project is anticipated to wrap up next summer — here’s a PDF for background information and project details.

16 thoughts to “Ship Canal Water Quality Project is underway in Ballard”

  1. I bet that the water is really wet and loaded with much, very much, moisture.
    I hope it is wet so the bigly boats will really float, very much float!

  2. well that’s one way to get rid of a vagrant camp…the one at the tracks where 24th continues south of shilshole was a growing festering mess. wonder where the lovely neighbors have set up camp this time?

    if only someone offered them shelter space or services…

    1. John, what does draining the lock have to do with this article about the water quality project? Two totally different things. You might as well also include the multitude of apartments with inadequate parking on schedule – it makes about as much sense as the off topic comment about draining the lock!

    1. That’s the general plan James – barge the dirt out, rail the contaminated dirt our, and rail the pipe casings in. Should replace about 70,000 truck round trips from the project.

  3. What an absolute waste of tax payers money. With unlimited funds there is sure a lot of money to be made treating run off water. Only because we only get 37 inchs of rain over the coarse of a year can this sceam work. No east coast city could do this. Wasn’t the man made Ship Canal ment to be a Ship Canal ment for Ships ? Oh and forget about any light rail crossing below the water with out bridges, we will have water storage instead

    1. Every city/county in the country has to meet the same standards for water pollution (I.e. discharges directly to open water). It’s called the Clean Water Act.

      Unfortunately for Seattle, containing our runoff and overflow discharge is more difficult due to the city layout and the numerous water bodies that lie to either side and bisect the city. This means more infrastructure and more spending.

      Other cities are most definitely putting in the same kind of infrastructure if they don’t already have something else in place.

  4. This area is ripe for one of mayor Durkan’s safe injection sites. It’s away from retail businesses and housing. Let’s show Seattle that we’re progressive and tolerant and ready to become a more mature society and accept that these places are the norm.

Leave a Reply