The City of Burien on Tuesday (Dec. 30) made the following announcement aboutÂ Eagle Landing Park â€“ closed on Dec. 12, and as we reported on Monday getting much worse:
“It is unlikely that the stairs will reopen soon.
Further analysis will need to be conducted during drier months of the year.
Further observations of the stability of the slope will need to be made as well.
It is possible that lower portions of the stairs are damaged beyond repair.”
Here’s more from the city’s statement:
A significant erosion and land-sliding event occurred at the toe of the slope in Eagle Landing Park, most likely as a result of recent storm events coinciding with high tides. The stairs leading down to the beach from the middle of the park were closed by City staff in early December and will need to remain closed as the City undertakes a detailed review of geological conditions.
Erosion and land-sliding has caused some piers which support the stair landings to shift and some sections of stairs have broken loose. The area is not safe for people and will need to remain closed. City staff contracted with a local geotechnical engineering firm to perform an initial assessment. That study recommends the stairs continue to be closed to reduce hazards to the public. While the rest of the park and surface trails remain open, the public is asked not to go past the closure at the top of the stairs.
What is the City doing in response to the slope failure?
Our primary concern is public safety, so the beach access stairs have been closed and need to remain closed until further assessments are completed in the coming months. The initial geotechnical assessment of the current slope failure shows active land slippage over a more extensive area, so the area may remain unstable for a considerable period of time.
Will the stairs be reopened?
It is unlikely that the stairs will reopen soon. Further analysis will need to be conducted during drier months of the year. Further observations of the stability of the slope will need to be made as well. It is possible that lower portions of the stairs are damaged beyond repair. City staff will be evaluating options to best preserve the stairs, if possible, for public use.
What is the primary cause of the slide?
According to the preliminary geotechnical assessment, the severe storm events and high tides in the first few weeks of November and December significantly eroded the base of the slope and the slope around the lower two concrete stairway landings.
Is there alternative access to Puget Sound beaches while the stairs are closed?
Alternative public access to the beach is available from Seahurst Park. All persons accessing beach areas should avoid any apparent slide locations.
What are the next steps?
City staff will monitor the park and address concerns as they arise. Further analysis and recommendations will need to be conducted during drier months of the year.