Seawall Resiliency Project

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A Program to improve earthquake safety, flood protection, and resiliency of the Seawall

The Seawall is the foundation of over 3 miles of San Francisco waterfront stretching from Fisherman’s Wharf and Telegraph Hill to South Beach and Mission Creek. The Seawall supports the world renowned Embarcadero Promenade, iconic landmarks such as the Ferry Building, and diverse local businesses along the waterfront.  Additionally, it supports critical regional transportation, utility, and emergency infrastructure and provides flood protection for downtown San Francisco neighborhoods that welcome millions of people each year.

The Seawall was built over 100 years ago and requires significant improvements in order to withstand the next major earthquake and increasing flood risk from sea level rise and climate change. 

Seawall Resiliency Project improvements under consideration include:  a) strengthening the ground below the seawall, b) improving the ground landside of the seawall, c) constructing a new seawall, d) strengthening or replacing bulkhead walls and wharves, and e) relocating or replacing critical utilities.  The program will require local, state, and federal partnership for project legislation, permitting, and funding. Immediate life safety upgrades may exceed $500 million and full infrastructure improvements are estimated to cost up to $5 billion.

Recent Accomplishments
  • Earthquake Vulnerability Study Results, Staff Presentation to Port Commission, 4/12/2016
  • Seawall History and Earthquake Vulnerability, Presentation to Waterfront Plan Update Working Group, 4/13/2016
  • Living Cities Third Cohort on Infrastructure – The Seawall was selected along with several other infrastructure projects for this 18 month national cohort to explore innovative financing for infrastructure
  • Seawall Resiliency Project, Port Staff Presentation to SPUR, 10/12/2016
Current Activities
Available Documents
Media: Seawall Resiliency Project
Media: Worldwide Waterfront Resilience Projects