Seattle park closed after gap found between pier and land

Seattle’s Waterfront Park has been closed and fenced off after officials discovered last Wednesday that a pier had shifted several inches, creating a gap between the pier and adjacent land.

Officials closed the pier until engineers could conduct an in-depth structural analysis. Results are expected to be released in a report later this week, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Monday.

The problem may have occurred after the city constructed a new seawall between 2013 and 2017 aimed at restoring natural habitats and to help make the waterfront area more resistant to earthquakes. The city has been closely monitoring the pier’s deterioration, with officials installing metal plates between 2017 and 2019 in order to try to prevent the kind of gap that happened.

The pier is in the process of being replaced. Its design has been approved and construction is expected to start in 2022.

The Seattle Times said the 50-year-old pier will be removed as soon as possible and the construction is slated to last until 2024. 

The new pier is expected to include a public plaza, a children’s play area, and an extensive lawn.

Miner’s Landing and the Seattle Aquarium, both located adjacent to the park, will not close.