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Seattle mayor approves 'emergency dismantling' of waterfront Pier 58

Pier 58, also known as Waterfront Park between the Seattle Aquarium and the Great Wheel, will be removed in the next 90 days because it shifted away from the wall.

SEATTLE — Mayor Jenny Durkan says she has approved the “emergency dismantling” of Seattle’s 50-year-old downtown Pier 58. 

The pier between the Seattle Aquarium and the Great Wheel is also known as Waterfront Park — a boardwalk space with benches, scenic views, and telescopes. 

Durkan said Friday that private engineering firm Seattle Structural recommended Pier 58 be removed within 90 days. 

The city was planning to renovate the pier as part of an overhaul of the entire waterfront after the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct — just not so soon. 

Seattle closed the park and hired the firm to complete an assessment after discovering last week the pier had shifted.

In response to the firm's recommendation, the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects is also entering into an emergency consultant contract to design the removal of the pier and is working with Seattle Department of Transporation (SDOT) to expedite the permits. 

RELATED: Seattle's Pier 58 won't reopen to the public after gap of 'several inches' discovered

In addition to the already planned Pier 58 replacement, the Office of The Waterfront has already nearly completed work on another new public park at Pier 62 which will open later this year, according to a statement from city officials.

"Piers and other marine structures naturally deteriorate over time," said Jesús Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. "We’ve been monitoring this structure for many years in anticipation that it would eventually need to be replaced."

Design of the Pier 58 replacement is underway with the 60% milestone submittal expected this fall, officials said. The construction of a new public park pier is planned for 2022. 

Officials said the new pier will "improve public access, create an inviting space for families, provide open views to Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, and include a children’s playground. It will also improve the salmon habitat and migration corridor."

RELATED: Seattle City Council approves $34 million for Seattle Aquarium expansion

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