Eagle Landing Park Stairway Project

Updated March 5, 2021

Project Status

In progress.

The metal stairs at this park have been undermined; the structure is failing. The Burien City Council, engineers, and risk managers recommended removing the stairs to reduce risks of a massive failure of the structure and potential harm to park users. There will not be an access point to the beach at this park any longer. However, the City of Burien will maintain a trail and a couple of viewpoints for the public to use and enjoy.

On August 20, 2018, Councilmembers directed staff to proceed with the removal of stairs. In 2019, staff began work with contractors and consultants to evaluate options for dismantling the stairs. In 2020, the City received permission from the granting agency, Washington Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), to remove and not replace the stairs to the beach. In the fall of 2020, Council approved funding for a capital project to remove the stairs. This work will occur in 2021–22.  

Project Overview

The Eagle Landing Park property was acquired in 2002. A commitment for project funding was that no structures would be built that would impact natural sediment delivery to the shoreline, such as bulkheads. Stairs connecting people to the shoreline were constructed in 2005. Starting in late 2014, damage to the stairs was noticed and the stairway was closed to public use due to safety concerns. In late 2015, lower sections of the stairs were removed because they were falling down the hillside from erosion undercutting. On November 21, 2016, City Council approved as part of the 2017–2018 budget a project to terminate the stairs mid-slope at a platform and remove the lower portion of the stairs.

Since the stairway closure, the site has been frequently monitored and evaluated for hillside stability by geotechnical engineers and arborists. The stormwater project completed in 2021 does help improve runoff at this park, but with all steep slopes there are many hydrological issues including stormwater, groundwater, and seeps in the hillside that contribute to the potential of slides. In this case, beach erosion also contributes to the erosion of the toe of the slope. 

Project Documents

Geotechnical reports about Eagle Landing Park: