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Waterfront Seattle | Overlook Walk: Elevating a key connection to the waterfront

Editor’s Note: This is a blog post from the Waterfront Seattle Program. The Waterfront Seattle Program is a collaboration between the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects and other Seattle departments including the Mayor’s Office, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Planning and Community Development, and Parks and Recreation.

Blog stats: 1,400 words | 7-minute read

The Waterfront Seattle team has been hard at work building a world-class park on Seattle’s waterfront. After years of construction progress, a key piece of the transformation that is hard to miss is the Overlook Walk.

This grand connection between multiple iconic destinations such as the Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium and the waterfront, will be an expansive elevated park with 360-degree views built for people to walk, roll, jog, or just sit and relax while taking in the views.

It will help redefine not only how people get to and from the waterfront, but also how they enjoy it. Featuring new seating, landscaping, play elements, elevator connections, public art, and a concessionaire/cafe space, Overlook Walk is certain to become a top destination for Seattleites and visitors year-round.

Construction has already come a long way and this new public space is set to open before the end of 2024.

Aerial view of the project area over time. Left and right images show progress as the work takes shape.
On the left, an aerial view of Overlook Walk in February 2023. On the right, a photo from February 2024 shows the incredible progress made over the past year. Photos courtesy of Tim Rice.
Side-by-side comparison photo of elements of the project under construction over time. To the left and right, construction activities are underway.
On the left, the connection to Pike Place Market’s ‘MarketFront’ in January 2023 while installing precast beams. On the right, that same connection in February 2024, with gravel in place for paving the Bluff Walk, which is a pedestrian ramp on the north side of Overlook Walk.
Side-by-side comparison photo of elements of the project under construction over time. To the left, traffic control devices are in place. To the right, cars travel below the project.
On the left, Overlook Walk looking north from Alaskan Way near Pike St in October 2022. On the right, the same view in November 2023.
Side-by-side comparison photo of elements of the project under construction over time.
On the left, rebar and forms were in place for concrete placement in January 2023. On the right, the concessionaire space, walkway and stairs taking shape in February 2024.

The past year was transformational for the Overlook Walk, both visually and structurally. A year ago, temporary supports and forms (solid barriers that hold concrete in place and/or force concrete to assume a certain shape) were installed as we prepared to place concrete to form the structure of the bridge over Alaskan and Elliott ways. Now, following removal of these temporary supports, Overlook Walk’s unique hourglass shape has been revealed.

With the foundations and bridge structure fully in place, the project team is now installing park elements such as seating, landscaping, play features, a canopy and the concessionaire space. The addition of these elements will turn what appears to be a spacious bridge into an elevated park that people can enjoy whether they are traveling through, taking in the view, pausing to take a seat or enjoying a bite to eat from the concessionaire. There will be something for everyone on the Overlook Walk, with Elliott Bay or the city skyline as the stunning backdrop.

Click the image above to view a timelapse of Overlook Walk construction progress, including the removal of temporary supports which reveals the uniquely curved shape.

A sense of place and connection to Elliott Bay

One of Seattle’s greatest assets is our connection to nature. Built at the same height of the former Alaskan Way Viaduct, one of the things that will make Overlook Walk a key destination will be the awe-inspiring views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Located in a bustling area, visitors will have a front row seat to take in Elliott Bay from multiple viewing angles, even if just while taking advantage of the streamlined connection between downtown and the waterfront.

Unique features for all


The concrete benches that line the north and south sides of the upper deck are now in place. These benches were built off-site, brought in and placed on Overlook Walk. Landscaping and native plants will border the space between the benches and railing along the curved edges of the bridge.

Side-by-side photos of the project under construction over time. Large construction forms and elements are to the left with concrete and other construction elements to the right.
On the left, a view of the south side of the Overlook Walk in May 2023. On the right, the same view in February 2024. The concrete benches follow the curved edge of Overlook Walk

Play Elements and Landscaping

The connection to MarketFront, known as the Bluff Walk, will feature a curved ramp and stairs surrounded by landscaping with permanent play features, including slides which are integrated into the slope itself.

Recently, large boulders were placed into the future landscaping area where they will add a nature-oriented dimension to the experience. Over 9,000 plants will liven up the edges of Overlook Walk, bringing a sense of greenery into the space. Work on landscaping continues with soil placement and more plants coming later this year.

Side-by-side photos of elements of the project being completed over time. Large cranes, work areas, and a ferris wheel are visible.
View of the Bluff Walk looking south. On the left, in January 2023 when precast beams were placed. On the right, in March 2024 when gravel for the paved ramp and boulders for the landscaping area are in place.
Future rendering of the Bluff Walk play features and children and adults enjoying the play area.
A future rendering of the Bluff Walk with play features and landscaping, looking north.

Elevator Connections

There will be two elevators accessible from Overlook Walk. On the east side, a connection to the Pike Place Market garage will allow visitors to use the recently renovated elevator on the south end of the garage, for a connection between Overlook Walk and Alaskan Way below. To the west, a new elevator will provide a connection between the Park Promenade (west of Alaskan Way) and both the Overlook Walk and Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion rooftop.  

Aerial photo of the Overlook Walk taking shape during construction. Large equipment and buildings are in the image.
Outlined in red, the two elevator connections at Overlook Walk will provide accessible connections to Alaskan Way, Waterfront Park, Pike Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion.

Canopy and Concessionaire Space

The east side of Overlook Walk will feature a space for a concessionaire with an area for tables and seating. A canopy will also provide cover from the elements and yet another place to take in the views.

A steel frame for a canopy in construction outdoors with a cement floor below.
Looking north along the east edge of Overlook Walk at the steel frame for the canopy directly adjacent to the concessionaire space as of March 2024.

Our partners, Friends of Waterfront Seattle and Seattle Center are seeking an experienced food and beverage tenant for the future Overlook Walk Cafe. The intent to apply deadline is April 8. To learn more about the application process visit their website:

Touching down on the west side

We have also made progress on the stairs connecting the upper level of the bridge to the pedestrian area below. The Salish Steps, also taking shape, will not only provide a connection to the Park Promenade (which spans from Pioneer Square to Pier 62), but also a space for community-driven activities and cultural celebrations.

Construction workers build a large structure with large skyscrapers in the background on a sunny day.
Looking east at rebar installation for Overlook Walk’s Salish Steps in February 2024.
Future rendering of people enjoying a large set of stairs outside on a sunny day. Dozens of people sit, walk, and roll in the illustration.
Future rendering of the Salish Steps

More to come

Over the next few months, the project team will be finalizing the upper deck features, stair connections to the Park Promenade and finish landscaping and plantings. Overlook Walk will feature two permanent artworks. MTK Matriarchs, a group of artists who represent both local tribes and Urban Natives are developing permanent artwork that will help elevate the importance of Indigenous culture and history to the site. Ann Hamilton is developing a kinetic artwork (artwork which includes elements of motion) that will be visible through the perforated screen located below the bridge. 

Overlook Walk is anticipated to be completed and open to the public before the end of 2024. Once open, Seattle Center and Friends of Waterfront Park will be responsible for the activation, operations and maintenance of Overlook Walk as part of Waterfront Park to ensure it remains a safe, green, resilient and top destination for residents and tourists alike.

To learn more: