In The Media

Designing a New Bridge Icon on the Seattle Waterfront

overhead view of pedestrian bridge

Bridge Engineers Don Nguyen and Bethy Clark Share Insights with ASPIRE Magazine

The Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge in Seattle is one of the busiest pedestrian bridges on the West Coast. Providing access to the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal, the structure is a key part of Seattle’s downtown waterfront and its replacement was critical to the area’s ongoing transformation. The previous bridge — a combination of segments dating back nearly a century — did not meet current accessibility standards, became very congested during peak periods and lacked aesthetic appeal.

HDR bridge engineers Don Nguyen and Bethy Clark, joined by Stephen Wilson of the Seattle Department of Transportation, wrote about the design of the replacement in ASPIRE magazine. The three discussed the design choices made, seismic resiliency considerations and more. HDR provided conceptual design, preliminary engineering, final design and construction management on the structure. The new bridge meets The Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, is wider than the previous to more easily accommodate pedestrians, and has much more visual appeal for waterfront visitors and commuters.

“Despite the many complex design requirements, this bridge will exude a clean, sleek appearance and be a landmark for the Seattle Waterfront,” the authors wrote. “The structure helps unify the waterfront pedestrian routes and ties in with existing structures to the east.”

Read the whole article, “A New Icon for the Revitalized Seattle Waterfront,” in the Summer 2024 issue of ASPIRE magazine.

Don Nguyen
Bridges & Structures Sustainability Leader