Project Spotlight: Fremont to Queen Anne Water Main Replacement

If you’ve biked the Burke-Gilman Trail through Fremont lately, or visited West Ewing Mini Park in Queen Anne, you’ve probably noticed a lot of construction activity next to the Ship Canal.

In fall 2018, SPU began construction on the Fremont to Queen Anne Water Main Replacement project—a new 24-inch drinking water “feeder” main in a utility tunnel (or “utilidor”) underneath the Ship Canal between Fremont and Queen Anne. Feeder mains are critical components of SPU’s drinking water service. They convey water across the city to provide service to each neighborhood. The new feeder main will replace an existing 24-inch pipe that served Seattle for almost 100 years until it was taken out of service in 2011 due to significant leaking.

In addition to conveying water across the Ship Canal, the new water main will improve water system pressure and fire flow (the flow rate of water from hydrants used by fire fighters), and ensure service reliability in the event that other neighborhood drinking water infrastructure is disrupted.

Construction of the Fremont to Queen Anne Water Main Replacement project is anticipated to be complete this fall. Once construction on this project wraps up, the Ship Canal Water Quality Project construction won’t be far behind.

Rick Lippold, SPU Structural Engineer, checks out the utilidor after the old utility pipes were removed, making way for construction to begin in the new 24-inch water feeder main.