Seattle closes another pier after collapse of Pier 58

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle officials ordered the closure of Pier 57 on the downtown waterfront Friday, saying they were concerned that the unstable status of nearby Pier 58 could put people in danger.

Pier 57 is privately owned and houses the Miner’s Landing tourist shopping center, along with the Great Wheel attraction, The Seattle Times reported. It’s located directly next to Pier 58, a city-owned structure that partly collapsed Sunday during demolition work.

A massive chunk of Pier 58, also known as Waterfront Park, plunged into Elliott Bay. Two members of a crew working to take apart the deteriorated pier were tossed into the water but escaped with minor injuries.

The collapse occurred at the north end of Pier 58, close to Pier 59, where the Seattle Aquarium is located. Trees, concrete planters, a concrete terrace and a bronze fountain came down when the steel-encased concrete piles holding up that section of the pier gave way. The piles for years had been corroding.

No damage to Pier 59 has been reported and the aquarium remains open. No damage to Pier 57 has been reported, either. But a new inspection conducted by the city’s structural engineering consultant, Seattle Structural, has determined that a concrete section at the north end of Pier 58 is now at risk for collapsing..

That could endanger people on Pier 57, because the two piers are “structurally integrated,” Nathan Torgelson, director of the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, said in a news release Friday.

The collapse occurred at the north end of Pier 58, close to Pier 59, where the Seattle Aquarium is located. Trees, concrete planters, a concrete terrace and a bronze fountain crashed down when the steel-encased concrete piles holding up that section of the pier gave way. The piles had been corroding for years.

State and federal workplace safety inspectors have opened investigations into the collapse at Pier 58. The city’s demolition contractor is preparing to restart work there next week.

The city has long planned to remove and replace Pier 58, which was built in 1974. It accelerated that work last month after the pier began separating from the Elliott Bay Seawall.

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