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It’s time to make the 68-year-old Northlake retaining wall safer & what it means for parking.

Aerial view of the project area.

What our engineers identified.

The Northlake Way retaining wall is located just west of Stone Way, along the north side of Lake Union. It was originally constructed in 1951 and built with creosote timber piles and concrete anchors.

During our routine structural analysis and safety assessment of the retaining wall, our engineers identified that the timber piles attached to the anchors have deteriorated and is putting the retaining wall at risk from being overloaded. Our priority is to keep the public safe, so we’re taking some important steps to reduce the load on the wall and prevent further deterioration.

Elevation view of the Northlake retaining wall (looking northwest): Red arrow shows the poor pile condition at the anchor attachment.

What’s next & what it means for parking.

To prevent the retaining wall from potentially becoming overloaded and unsafe, we will be temporarily restricting parking adjacent to the retaining wall, impacting 42 parking spaces. Throughout the month of June, we’ll install fencing, signs, street markings, and curb stops. Rather than eliminating all current parking, we’ll leave room for approximately 14 parallel spaces. We expect to have work completed by the July 4 holiday.


✔ Throughout the process, we’ll continue studying and inspecting the wall to determine whether to replace it or make structural repairs.

✔ We’re working with nearby tenants and building owners to provide additional information and to collect data about how the parking spots are used to help us plan for future work while minimizing the impact on businesses, customers, boat owners, and nearby residents.

✔ We’ll keep working to make sure everyone has accurate and up-to-date information as we move forward with this important safety project.

Stay tuned!