by Jack Mayne The Eagle Landing Park stairs and the land around them will remain closed because of slide dangers, and the city has sought a permit to allow the now detached lower portion of the stairs to be entirely removed. The Burien City Council on Monday night (Aug. 17) were told of problems of renewed and ongoing earth slides at Eagle Landing Park, as revealed in last week’s B-Town Blog story. Maiya Andrews, the cityâ€™s public works director, reviewed what was revealed last week, adding that the dangling lower portion of the stairs down to the beach is not detached and would have to be removed. Andrews said she has just â€œin the last day or twoâ€ talked with the Fish and Wildlife department about the required permit to remove the stairs, and to a contractor for prices to remove the stairs, probably by barge. â€œWe are hopeful to get this done in the next month to two months depending on how quickly they can provide usÂ a permit,â€ Andrews told the Council, addingÂ that she would include cost later for the city budget update. The park is â€œquite large, even without the stairs,â€ and people can â€œeasily go two-thirds to three quarters of the way down before you actually get to the stairs.â€ People can use the upper area, â€œit just doesnâ€™t have that beach access we had before.â€ Newer, wider slide As we reported last week, a newer and wider earth slide has moved under the now closed stairs, and the city has been working on a report she gave the Council Monday. In the past five months, Andrews said there have been many trees that have fallen due to the moving earth, â€œand the lower flight of stairs has not separated from the upper flight and, in fact, the soil beneath the stairs has slipped down and exposed the pin pilings, the point where the lower section of stairs are just kind of hanging there, swinging around.â€ She told the Council that the storms and the high tides have continued to erode the face of the slope making the unstable higher up. The sliding could continued â€œfrom days to years; we just donâ€™t know.â€ It makes the slope very dangerous, Andrews said. Storm drain discounted She mentioned a storm drain at the top of the park and said there has been much discussion about rerouting it to â€œslow the landslideâ€ of the slope. â€œItâ€™s our consultantâ€™s opinion that the effect of this storm drainage is transient in nature and likely not significant compared to the bigger area that recharges the ground water and is seen surfacing at the bottom of that slope,â€ Andrews said. â€œThere is very big area of land that picks up storm water and eventually it surfaces out near the bottom of the slope and youâ€™ll see that even when it has been dry conditions for a long time, youâ€™ll see this ground water constantly coming out the bottom of the slope. There are no â€œgood optionsâ€ to stop the slide, Andrews said, that would be inexpensive â€“Â or even allowed under the cityâ€™s shoreline master program. She said the issue has been known from the very beginning of looking at the area as a park. A report done years ago said that if a stairway was built â€œa basic assumption for this project is that the subject slope will continue to be unstable in the futureâ€ and that the Burien design team understood â€œthat damage and even destruction of the stairway is possible, and that repair of the structure is probable.â€ Too fast to wait â€œThe landslide is going too fast for us to stand and watch anymore,â€ Andrews said. The consultant has told Burien to keep the stairs closed. â€œThey also recommend that we immediately dismantle those lower segments of stairsâ€ that could â€œtopple over and endangering people who refuse to obey our closure,â€ she said. â€œWe know from tracks and trails and people talking that there are people down there. It is a very dangerous area not just if you are on the stairs but if your in a slide area, you shouldnâ€™t be walking in an area where there is land movement going on.â€]]>
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