Save Our Stairs (Eagle Landing Park)

Where and what is Eagle Landing Park?

Eagle Landing Park (ELP) is a wonderful 6.2 acre wooded shorefront park in western Burien in the Seahurst neighborhood.
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Why should you care about it?

It’s a local treasure, with magnificent, sweeping views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountain Range, and a host of lush plants, birds and sea-dwelling wildlife.  It also had provided — rare to the area — direct access to the beach via a unique set of 289 metal stairs.
It really is a special place, and one of only two beachfront parks in the city.  It had been a great attraction for people of all fitness levels wanting a great workout with a fantastic view.

What’s the problem?

In 2014 the city closed the stairs and access to the beach due to hillside erosion and impending failure of the two lower stair support piers.  These piers and adjoining stair sections were subsequently removed.
As a result of reduced park usage without the stairs and beach access, suburban blight is beginning to set in, with graffiti, drug use, garbage dumping, and recently a firearm offense.
Over $2,000,000 of taxpayer money was spent to create this park and the stairs, it would be a crying shame to let that go to waste.

What can be done?

.A community meeting was held on March 22nd with about 35 Localists and Nextdoor neighborhood members.  The meeting was organized by two Localists, John White and Charlie Perkins, who are quite passionate about this park, and are working to find ways to reopen the stairs so that all visiting the park can once again fully enjoy this suburban oasis.
In the meeting, after a review of the status of the park and stairs, discussion turned to the issues believed to have caused the stair to fail, and then to some potential solutions.
The first issue that must be resolved is to minimize the water that is causing the erosion and slides on the hillside at the stairs.  The most straightforward solution discussed would be to run a tightline from the large drain pipe that dumps rainwater into the top of the park, through the park,  and down into a manhole.
After the drainage problem is solved, reinforcement of remaining piers was discussed.  One interesting possibility is to install helical pilings deep into the clay layer to provide required support. John has some contacts that think they can make this happen.

What can you do?

A meeting with the Burien City council is being arranged and your attendance will be greatly appreciated.
You can also contact the Burien Parks Dept. and Public Works Dept. directly, or email a council member.
Together, we can apply enough pressure on the city to reexamine the feasibility of fixing and reopening our park.
If you have any questions about this, please contact us at questions@localists.org

Updates

03.30.2018
Met with the Burien Public Works Director and one of the engineers. Very positive meeting, with assurances that the recent communications that have flooded into her office have been heard, and that they are currently working on new plans for the stairs.
The viability of piping the stormwater straight down to the beach from the road is currently being investigated.
The Director is also open to the idea of meeting with the group to discuss the issue in about a month’s time, after she gathers more information and data.
Things are moving, and that’s always a good sign.

05.04.2018
A sad day, as it looks like the City has had a change of heart and has decided to close the stairs and rip them out:

05.28.2018
A new hope: After a public meeting regarding ELP hosted by the city, and a spirited City Council meeting where a number of Burien residents got up and spoke their mind and made some very valid points, the council requested that more study should be done regarding the future of the park.
In addition, ELP has recently registered on Olympia’s radar, as a lot of the money used for ELP came from state funds. They are not happy about all that money going down the (storm) drain.
The future of the park is looking brighter than it has in a while.

1 thought on “Save Our Stairs (Eagle Landing Park)

  1. Dee Selk Reply

    I was at the Council meeting tonight. They had one presenter and about 5 of us that commented on the fact that we want our stairs back. I don’t think it is a done deal. Mayor Matta was concerned about children’s safety, if they were not paying attention to the stair signage and trespassing. Nancy Totsta did support further conversation. I’m in on anyway to help keep the stairs open.

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