PHOTOS: Major progress being made at Seahurst Park Beach Restoration Project

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On Thursday afternoon (Dec. 5), members of the media were given a tour of the restoration project at Burien’s Seahurst Park, so BTB Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer donned a hard hat and took some photos.

As we previously reported, this extensive project will improve marine habitat for salmon and other endangered species, restore natural sediment processes, restore the beach to pre-seawall conditions, and upgrade the park’s recreational features.

Below is the “plan view” of what a new playground new shelter area will look like after the project is finished. The new site will shift the turnaround further to the south but will provide for the same amount of parking as was available previously (click image to see larger version):

Here are photos of the work being done as of Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):





Workers stand in front of a huge pile of debris at the park. Most debris will be loaded onto barges and shipped away.






A crane demolishes part of the old seawall Thursday afternoon.


Containment booms are in place to catch any runoff from the restoration work.



Noah Rivera shows the area where the fish ladder will be relocated.



Taurus,” a donut-shaped sculpture by Thomas A. Lindsey that was installed at the park in 1977, sits near a holding area. According to Burien Parks Executive Director Michael Lafreniere, the artwork will be discarded.


Keeping an eye on the restoration work is the infamous Seahurst Park “Eye Tree.”

“Substantial progress is being made on the removal of the seawall, with the southern half recently removed and the remainder to be completed over the next couple of weeks,” reads an update on the city’s website. “The large rock rip rap is being removed from the beaches below the seawall and much grading and excavation is occurring in the upland and along the shoreline.”

The critical work of permanently relocating utilities within and throughout the park will be a focus, as currently there are temporary services being provided to the Environmental Science Center and the Marine Technology Lab.

Night work for the next few weeks will continue, and is occurring on Monday through Thursday nights as needed.

There is no night work scheduled for weekends, and there will be no night work Dec. 23 – 26 or Dec. 31 – Jan. 1.

The contractor is still experiencing unauthorized trespassing into the work site by local residents, which is causing safety concerns.

“Please help us spread the word that the park is closed, that all the shoreline areas have been clearly posted and trespassing into the construction zone will not be allowed.”

Phase 1 removed about 1,000 feet of seawall and Phase 2 will nearly double that, removing about 1,800 feet of the armoring. Corps Project Manager Leah Wickstrom announced the Corps awarded a $6.2 million construction contract September 6 to California-headquartered CKY Inc, a civil and environmental construction company with a Seattle office.

Work is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2014.

To view what this major construction and restoration project will look like, view this short 2-minute video about the restoration work done in 2004-2005. Another video from 2007 includes an interview with former parks planner Scott Thomas; it can be viewed HERE.

To learn more about Seahurst Park, view the park’s webpage.

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9 Responses to “PHOTOS: Major progress being made at Seahurst Park Beach Restoration Project”
  1. Chris says:

    They should keep the “Donut” sculpture and relocated it to the police station in Burien. Kind of a shrine for cops.

  2. Greg says:

    I was born and raised in a house next to the park and have recently moved back in to take care of my elderly mother. It’s bad enough listening to the loud crashing sounds ALL night long but after walking up the beach a little ways I discovered that this Cali based construction co. has removed all of the natural driftwood from the surrounding area! 1 of the pieces they discarded was a huge chunk of tree that was at least a thousand years old!! It withstood all of the brutal storms over the years and now its gone! I wish people could see whats “really” going on, the destruction of natural habitat is huge and should not be ignored!!

  3. Fuzz says:

    I certainly hope that they don’t discard Taurus! While I do admit I got a good chuckle at Chris suggestion – I would at least hope they could relocate the sculpture at Dotty Harper Park down in the woods or whatever.

  4. Chris says:

    Greg! This project is restoring the entire section BACK to its natural habitat! Removing the seawall and the breakwater rocks–all man made and not part of the natural habitat–will help restore things to the way they should be. Yeah, some driftwood might be removed, or perhaps they’ll place it back on the beach.

    Have you contacted the City of Burien or the Army Corp of Engineers to see what their plans are for the driftwood?

    • Greg says:

      In response to Chris, I have tried several times to get answers on what the plans are for the natural habitat being removed to make a “new natural habitat. No response has been given. I can see from my window that all the driftwood has been thrown in a massive pile next to the piles of broken gabien wall and rocks. Some of the driftwood removed had not moved in the 42 years I’ve been alive! Now they are running bulldozers and backloaders up n down the beach which means all of the natural habitat has been destroyed in this large chunk of beach! I don’t think people understand that making something look “pretty” does not benefit the natural environment that has been the same for years. I think it’s a little different for me living down here because I see what they are doing everyday and night. In the end, the park will “look” better but the natural habitat won’t heal from the destruction for many many years…. that a fact!

  5. Chris says:

    Found the artists (Thomas A. Lindsay) website: Perhaps he’ll have some input on where the Taurus sculpture will go. I do feel that simply “discarding” it is not the right action. City of Burien?

  6. Courtney says:

    Taurus is part of the park and been there approaching 40 years. It’s part of the parks history, identity, and certainly shouldn’t be discarded but included in the new plans and not at some other location.

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