10750348_10152552093328061_541131658778434241_o 10848906_10152552093678061_7372490871753527927_o

Photos courtesy City of Burien.

The City of Burien announced Friday afternoon (Dec. 12) that the entire stairway at Eagle Landing Park is now closed to the public, due to a “significant erosion event.” There is currently no beach access, and the stairs are sealed off at the top entry point. As we reported on Wednesday (Dec. 10), the lower section of the stairs were first closed due to “erosion.” Some neighbors of the park though say the cause is more likely due to stormwater runoff that starts near the parking lot, then seeps down through the park than “wave action” from recent storms as the city claims. “Upon further evaluation of the stairs and adjacent slope conditions, the City Engineer has recommended the closure of the entire length of the stairs,” the city said in a statement. “While the park and its surface trail remains open, the public is asked not to go past the closure at the top of the stairs.” Here’s more from the city:
It was learned recently that a significant erosion event occurred at the toe of the slope in Eagle Landing Park, most likely as a result of the storm which coincided with an extreme high tide the weekend of Nov. 29-30. It is believed that this recent event contributed to the beach erosion that resulted in a citizen report that there was a problem with the stairs. City staff responded immediately to assess the situation. That assessment led to a decision to close the lower section of stairs. The beach erosion which has steadily eroded the toe of the slope over several years appears now to have caused in shift in the piers which support the stair landings. Upon further evaluation of the stairs and adjacent slope conditions on Friday, December 12, the City Engineer recommended the closure of the entire length of the stairs. While the park and its surface trail remains open, the public is asked not to go past the closure at the top of the stairs. As was reported at the time, this storm event significantly affected the area, in particular the wave action and damage caused to the boardwalk in Des Moines which also threatened homes in the nearby Three Tree Point area. A similar storm destroyed a beachfront home there in 2010. Wave action resulting from storms and high tides, and occasionally and most dangerously the combination of the two, has significantly impacted the toe of the bluff in this area and elsewhere for many years. The original last section of stairs that were built in 2004 were damaged by several storms several years ago and had to be replaced several times. Eventually they were permanently removed and replaced with an at-grade trail and short boardwalk. The stair section which is now closed is just above this new trail access. Unfortunately, due to the extremely steep slope, the stairs which are now closed are well above this new trail access, consequently it is not possible to reach that trail and therefore not possible to access the beach. The stairs and slope will need to be evaluated to determine if the shifting which has occurred may have affected the safety and integrity of the stairs. Since first reported, the piers which support the stairs have shown continued movement. Until the stairs and the slope can be fully evaluated, for the safety of the public the Eagle Landing Park stairs will remain closed for an indefinite time during which access to the beach will not be possible. Please note that Burien’s Seahurst Park just to the north of Eagle Landing is open with available beach access. Staff will update the City Council and public on the Eagle Landing stairs as new information becomes available.
Last February, we first reported on similar erosion problems. John White, whose home is located just north of the park, has been trying to get the city to admit that the cause of the erosion is not “wave action” as the city claims, but rather, from too much stormwater being dumped into the hill from above. [caption id="attachment_80490" align="aligncenter" width="490"]eagle-landing “…as you can see, it happened just the way I said it would,” White told The B-Town Blog Wednesday. “What will this picture look like in December of 2015 if we do not take action now?!”[/caption] This section of stairs was recently rebuilt and re-opened last July. The city is providing more information at www.burienwa.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1042]]>