Updates on major Seattle projects as concrete strike ends

An aerial view of roads, buildings, and construction work near the Seattle Waterfront.

Here’s what the Waterfront project looked in December, when the concrete workers strike began. | Photo by Waterfront Seattle

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Grab your hard hats. Concrete should soon be flowing again at Seattle’s major construction sites now that more than 300 workers and drivers agreed to end a months-long strike.

Negotiations between the workers and employers continue over better pay and benefits, so this return-to-work situation is not completely, er, set in stone. But the news should impact some of the city’s biggest projects. Here’s where they stand. 🏗️

Seattle Convention Center 🏢

Yes, that’s its new name — don’t wear it out. The building formerly known as the Washington State Convention Center recently got rebranded in anticipation of a 1.5 million-sqft, $1.9 billion addition called the Summit. An official with the convention center said the center may be able to begin booking the space by the fall, once the post-strike picture comes into greater focus (note that not all delays are because of the concrete strike).

Original estimated completion date: 2020
Now looking more like: 2023

The Light Rail 🚈

Sound Transit said that concrete work will resume for Light Rail extensions, including two on the Eastside, one connecting Kent and Federal Way, and one up in Lynnwood. Progress has been slowed over the past five months due to the concrete work stoppage, although how that might ultimately change the last stages of construction remains to be seen — the department will continue to assess the revised schedules. “With months of backlogged concrete deliveries across the region, we all must now work together to dig ourselves out of a deep hole,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff.

Original estimated completion dates: 2023-24
Now looking more like: TBD

The Waterfront 🌊

This massive years-long project hopes to make waves by transforming much of the area around Alaskan Way and downtown with plazas, parks, and pedestrian passages. Some sections have already been completed, but other ones may get pushed back a bit. “We look forward to getting deliveries scheduled and seeing larger concrete deliveries return to the site, although we anticipate it could be a few weeks before we see concrete more regularly,” said a spokesperson for Waterfront Seattle. “We will be sharing more on project schedules via our weekly construction email updates and website.”

Originally estimated completion date: Late 2024
Now looking more like: The same overall timeline, with a few milestones possibly delayed

Local Freeways 🛣️

On the road again? The Washington State Department of Transportation recently released a comprehensive update regarding how the strike impacted timelines for various fixes + upgrades on interstate routes. Of note for locals is the work being done to I-5 northbound at Seneca St. and I-405 from Renton to Bellevue.

Original estimated completion date: 2022
Now looking more like: Still this year, but delays of up to two months for those two specific projects.

The West Seattle Bridge 🚧

Since last we checked in on this hugely anticipated repair project, it appeared unclear on when the final stages would be going down, since concrete was needed to secure crucial parts of the bridge. Last Tuesday, new concrete pours began — and officials seem encouraged about the progress. However, the city will need to see how deliveries go in the coming weeks before evaluating a potential new timeline.

Original estimated completion date: Mid-2022
Now looking more like: The same general date, with a briefing scheduled for Thurs., April 21

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