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Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock hero image

Keeping 10 Million Annual Passengers Moving During the Renovation of Washington's Busiest Ferry Terminal

Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock

Colman Dock is the busiest ferry terminal in Washington and one of the busiest in the world, with more than 10 million passengers relying on the Dock to travel between Seattle, Kitsap County, and the Olympic Peninsula.

To maintain Colman Dock’s critical role as a regional multimodal transportation hub, Hoffman replaced aging and seismically vulnerable wood piles and trestle foundations with steel for strength and longevity and demolished and replaced the ferry terminal and passenger facilities. In water, the project removed 7,400 tons of creosote-treated timber piles from Seattle’s Elliott Bay, opening an area of shoreline and near-shore habitat. The project added an Overhead Loading and Walkway, an 8,500 SF King County Passenger-Only Ferry Building, and a new 23,000 SF Terminal Building with LEED Silver certification.

With pivotal segments of the passenger terminal unveiled in September 2019 and November 2022, the project progressively came to life. The culmination of this extensive effort was marked by the completion of the final structures in August 2023, which included a welcoming entry building, and elevated pedestrian bridge connector. This sequence of meticulous work led to the conclusion of the colossal renovation, underscoring Hoffman’s unwavering dedication to efficiency and excellence, ensuring Colman Dock’s legacy as a robust and reliable transit hub for the city of Seattle.


How do you keep 10 million passengers per year flowing in and around an active construction jobsite?


The Hoffman team performed extensive preconstruction planning to develop comprehensive safety and “no disruption” phasing plans for the busy terminal.

Contract Type

Heavy-Civil GC/CM


Washington State Department of Transportation




Seattle, WA






LEED Silver

2023 Award of Honor — American Institute of Architects (AIA) Seattle

2023 Innovative Transportation Solution Award — WTS

2023 Quality of Life / Community Development Award — America's Transportation Awards

Proactive Safety and Sequencing Planning

With millions of passengers comes a significant volume of vehicles. The project undertook innovative steps to improve access for vehicle staging, ensuring that vehicular movement within the terminal was smooth, orderly, and above all, safe.

Proactive Safety and Sequencing Planning image

By meticulously phasing the demolition and reconstruction of the trestle, the project managed to optimize vehicle staging, maintaining a staging area for up to 450 vehicles even as construction progressed. This achievement not only facilitated smoother, more efficient vehicle access but also significantly bolstered the safety profile of the terminal’s operations amidst ongoing construction activities.

Minimal Waterfront Impact

Understanding the vibrancy and importance of Seattle’s waterfront, Hoffman aimed for and successfully achieved minimal disruption.

Minimal Waterfront Impact image

Through careful phasing, material transport planning, and access strategy, the project not only mitigated its footprint but also ensured that the waterfront’s beauty and functionality were preserved for residents and visitors alike. Initially planning to use a tower crane for material handling, we reassessed and opted for the “Pacific Lifter,” a mega-scale floating crane, to minimize impact on Seattle’s active waterfront. Unlike a tower crane, which requires a fixed foundation and limits flexibility, the Pacific Lifter offered agile and efficient operations without disrupting the area’s vibrancy. This change not only accelerated our timeline but also reduced the construction footprint, ensuring smooth material laydown and access while preserving the waterfront’s functionality and appeal throughout the project.

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