Send in the cranes: Mega projects pack Seattle's construction pipeline

A laundry list of major building awaits Seattle's next mayor. Can you say $16 billion?

By Knute Berger

February 18, 2013.

Seattle's next mayor will have an in-box stuffed with reports on the city's many ongoing and large-scale public and public/private construction projects. Here is a rundown, complete with pricetags and timelines, on some of the biggest and most important infrastructure projects in the works or underway in our fair city. All the schedules and figures below are taken from public documents, press reports and/or estimates provided by the various oversight agencies.

Elliott Bay Sea Wall
Budget: $385 million
Broad Street to University — Sept. 2013 - June 2014
University Street to Madison — Sept. 2014 - June 2015
Madison Street to Washington — Sept. 2015 - Feb. 2016

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project
Budget: $3.1 billion
Tunnel Boring — 2013-2014
Tunnel Opening — 2015
Viaduct demolition begins — 2016

Waterfront Makeover
Estimated Budget: $420 million
Re-do begins 2016

520 Replacement
Budget: $4.1 billion
New bridge open to drivers — 2014-2015
Old bridge demolition begins — 2014-2015

SoDo Arena
Budget: $490 million (up to $200 million in public funds)
Construction (if approved) — 2015-2016

Mercer Project, Phase II
Budget: $95 million
Mercer West — 2013-2015

Sound Transit
Budget: $1.9 billion
University Link Opens — 2016

Sound Transit North
Budget: $2.1 billion
Husky Stadium to Northgate Construction — 2012-2019
Service begins — 2021

Sound Transit East Link
Budget: $2.8 billion
Design — 2013-2014
Property Acquisition — 2014-2017
Construction — 2015-2020
Service begins — 2023

Sound Transit Other
Budget: $383 million
South 200th Street (SeaTac) — 2016

Kent/DesMoines Link
Budget (early estimate): $403 million
Scheduled start — 2023

Lynnwood Link
Budget (early estimate): $1.3 billion
Scheduled start — 2023

Port of Seattle
Budget: $230 million
SeaTac Airport NorthSTAR Renovation — 2014-2016

Yesler Terrace Redevelopment
Budget (estimate): $1 billion
Sequence (10-20-year build out):
Phase I — 2013-2014
Phase II — 2014-2016


Knute Berger is Mossback, Crosscut's chief Northwest native. He also writes the monthly Grey Matters column for Seattle magazine and is a weekly Friday guest on Weekday on KUOW-FM (94.9). His newest book is Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice, published by Sasquatch Books. In 2011, he was named Writer-in-Residence at the Space Needle and is author of Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. You can e-mail him at

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Printed on January 25, 2015