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Major Seattle Thoroughfare, Olive Way, Realigned as Convention Center Addition Project Reaches New Milestone

Major Seattle Thoroughfare, Olive Way, Realigned as Convention Center Addition Project Reaches New Milestone

Major Seattle Thoroughfare, Olive Way, Realigned as Convention Center Addition Project Reaches
New Milestone

Traffic lanes returning after almost two years of reroute for WSCC Addition project construction

SEATTLE – September 4, 2020 – The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) Addition project to construct the Summit building reaches a critical milestone this week as two lanes of Olive Way between 9th and Boren Avenues are restored to their original alignment after nearly two years of re-routing.

In November 2018, the portion of Olive Way flanked by construction of the WSCC Addition project was shifted north to accommodate excavation work for the project and construction below the street right-of-way. Three lanes of access to Interstate 5 and Capitol Hill were provided in the rerouted area, including one lane for buses and two lanes for all other traffic.

Olive Way is a major arterial for the City of Seattle with a volume of more than 12,000 vehicles per day, according to 2018 data from SDOT. The roadway serves as a vital connector for regional transit and access to Interstate 5.

“We are grateful to the City of Seattle, SDOT, King County Metro and city residents for accommodating the temporary realignment of Olive Way,” said Frank Finneran, Chairman, Board of Directors, Washington State Convention Center. “Without this re-route, the project would not have been possible.”

The Summit building will have a below-grade loading dock that will extend beneath the restored Olive Way. The temporary realignment of Olive Way enabled construction of that portion of the loading dock, which ultimately will extend underground from Howell to the south edge of Olive between 9th and Boren.  Above the loading dock, starting at grade at the north edge of Olive, a new apartment building and office tower will eventually rise. The Addition itself is currently rising south of Olive.

“With its striking vertical elements and large subterranean spaces, the Summit building is unlike any other convention center in North America,” said Ben Eitan, project director for Clark | Lewis, the joint venture team responsible the construction effort. “Constructing a project of this magnitude amid Seattle’s urban core further compounds its complexity. Safely reaching this milestone required tremendous collaboration – both among the construction trades working on site and between the project team and city and county agencies. We are grateful for the fantastic teamwork exhibited by all parties involved.”

The full reopening of the original Olive Way will occur in two phases. The first phase of realignment is expected to last two months, with two lanes open to traffic.

In phase two, three lanes of Olive Way will reopen to traffic, with one lane dedicated for buses. This phase is set to last approximately 16 months. Upon completion, the full Olive Way will reopen permanently with three lanes of general-purpose traffic, one transit lane and sidewalks offering an improved pedestrian experience.

Clark | Lewis began construction work on the Addition project in July 2018. Over the three-plus-year construction period, the project team is expected to hire as many as 6,000 union construction workers, including 900 apprentices. The project will pay more than $100 million to the region in construction sales tax alone. It is investing $93 million toward community benefits that include affordable housing, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, parks and open spaces, public art, and more. LMN is the lead designer on the project.

When operating at full capacity, the Summit building is expected to create about 3,900 new, ongoing jobs and generate approximately $260 million in new customer spending and $19 million in sales taxes annually. It also will create a key link in the Pike/Pine corridor between Capitol Hill and the renovated Waterfront.

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About the Washington State Convention Center

Located in the heart of Seattle and walking distance to world-class hotels, restaurants, entertainment and attractions, the Washington State Convention Center has been the Northwest’s premier meetings and events facility for over 31 years, providing industry-leading service, award-winning catering and innovative solutions for event planners, guests and visitors. WSCC looks forward to opening the Summit building, adding approximately 248,000 square feet of exhibit space, 59 meeting rooms, and a 58,000-square-foot ballroom to the Center’s offerings, in Spring 2022. For more information, visit

About Clark | Lewis, A Joint Venture

Clark | Lewis, a construction joint venture between experienced builders Clark Construction Group, LLC, and Lease Crutcher Lewis, is serving as the GC/CM for the Washington Station Convention Center Addition project. Collectively, the two firms have approximately $3 billion in active work in the Seattle market and have delivered 10 million square feet of convention center space nationwide over the last decade.