Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Colman Dock

Seattle has been replacing its downtown seawall over the past couple of years. The new one provides better habitat - better, at least, than did the old seawall. But probably not quite the mixed sand and gravel beach, drift logs, and forested bluff that once stretched continuously from Smith Cove to the little point of land at the mouth of the Duwamish River that is now Pioneer Square.

The new seawall includes a low-tide bench, textured panels, and a cantilevered walkway with glass block to allow more light to reach the water. And here, just south of Colman Dock (the ferry dock is getting rebuilt, too), a beach is being added. But unlike the Sculpture Park farther north, where a pocket beach was carved into the old filled shoreline, here the beach is being perched between rock sills on a constructed platform that juts out into deeper water. This is a very strange beach.

One of the big benefits of beaches in urban settings is that they allow people to get to the water, but I've heard a rumor that this may not be possible here.