King’s Landing at Ship Creek

King’s Landing at Ship Creek

Start Date: June 15, 2015
Completion Date: July 15, 2016
Owner: Municipality of Anchorage
Location: Anchorage, AK
Architects: HDR Alaska
Project Manager: James Murrell
Project Superintendent: Andy Davidson
Project Engineer: Sam Meredith
Project Administrator: Joan Vanucci
Site Safety Manager: Kirk Waggoner

The King’s Landing at Ship Creek Phase II consisted of 7,000 SF plaza with decorative paving and 3,100 SF of concrete pavers, concrete walls with a timber boardwalk, 15,000 SF asphalt parking lot with curb and gutter, a restroom building with water and sewer hookups, gabion walls, water connections to pedestrian amenities, electrical improvements including load center and lighting.

While Ship Creek has remained a popular spot for tourists and residents alike since being the center of Anchorage back in the early 1900s, the area is continuing its move into the 21st century with the completion of the second phase of development at Ship Creek’s Kings Landing.

Tourists and residents alike line Ship Creek waters’ edge throughout the summer, whether it’s to fish, watch, or just hang out. Kings Landing is one part of that, right around the main pedestrian bridge next to Bridge Seafood at Ship Creek, and has been updated through this project with new seating, landscaping, pavement and walkways, as well as something everyone can thoroughly appreciate: Full-service restrooms.

In spring 2015, Davis was awarded the Kings Landing at Ship Creek, Phase 2 project.  Initially bid in 2014- the project was re-scoped and re-bid in 2015 with 4 alternates so that the Municipality of Anchorage could get the most bang for their buck.  The project was funded by the combination of a state grant and municipal bonds.

One of the focal points of the area is a new rain garden. The garden looks nice, but it also has a practical side. City project manager Lori Schanche says the garden has a special mix of top soil that acts like a filter. According to Schanche, when it rains, water from a nearby parking lot runs toward Ship Creek. That water will carry pollutants like gasoline, oil and anti-freeze. She says, “None of that is good for fish.”

Now, instead of spilling into the creek, the water will seep into the garden where pollutants are filtered by the soil and rocks beneath. Schanche says the garden will improve the water quality.

The water moves through natural filter material such as gravel, soil and plants before filling the pond. Ralph Rentz, a municipal landscape architect, designed the plaza area, and HDR Inc. was the project engineer.

Benches and smooth boulders create sitting spaces while boardwalks, railings and stairs allow for safe access to the creek and the fish-cleaning area, in addition to reducing erosion and controlling foot traffic paths.

During the popular King Salmon Derby, more than 200 anglers per day visit the area.  The seasonal restroom allows visitors to relieve themselves without releasing waste into the natural habitat. The restroom, designed by architect Mark Ivy of Ivy & Co., features custom metal work and art elements in facilities for Ladies “Dollys” and Gentlemen “Chums.”

“People have wanted a bathroom there for years,” said Lori Schanche, a landscape designer and project manager for the Municipality of Anchorage. Now, with the upgrade and built-in infrastructure for vendors and events, Kings Landing could become a destination spot.

In addition to the thoughtful design for humans, our canine partners also were thought about during this project.  A water bottle filling/drinking fountain and pet watering station were included to decrease the need for plastic one-time use containers.

Jim Kubitz, a Vice President for The Alaska Railroad, calls King’s Landing a “corner stone project.” He says the improvements are attracting developers.

According to Kubitz, “for the first time that we have all the amenities here that we put in and developers are starting to come out and say, ‘You know what, this is a good place to be because it’s connected to downtown, it’s connected to the bike trail.’ There’s a lot of synergy going on in Ship Creek.