About that sinkhole …

Six months after the deluge preceding the December windstorm created the Thistle/Northrop sinkhole (at the end of the 52-y-o hillside staircase) in Upper Fauntleroy, Seattle Public Utilities is finally about to do something substantial in the area. Before we elaborate: Two photos, one looking west into the sinkhole a few days after the storm (before the temporary bridge was built); the next, a recent look east at and below the segment of “suspended” sidewalk that’s been literally hanging there (blocked off from public access) ever since:


Now, the apparent plan: Flyers available at the Thistle/Northrop corner say SPU will start work next weekend on “drainage catch basins and inlets” both at that corner and a block east at Thistle/Cali. They describe the “new drainage structures” as “improved grates with curb openings to help facilitate storm water drainage when debris covers them.” As for the sinkhole itself, which now seems to be dubbed a “gully,” SPU writes on the flyer:

We are continuing to work with FEMA and private property owners to repair the gully that was eroded during the 2006 winter storms. We anticipate that this work, which will include rebuilding the sidewalks to provide access to the SW Thistle St stairs, will be completed later this summer. Thank you for your continued patience.

For walkers/joggers who are wondering (like us), we just sent a note to SPU to ask if the upcoming work will block off the stairs again … we’ll let you know what we hear.

1 Reply to "About that sinkhole ..."

  • Jenny June 25, 2007 (11:28 am)

    I hate those stairs! The angle is too shallow. (Or is it the height of each step?) You’d think maybe a shallow stairway would be easier to walk on than a standard stairway, but it’s actually quite tiring.

    I know the hillside doesn’t follow the angle of a standard stairway, which is around 35o, but they could’ve built the stairs as a set of several stairways that are more standard dimensions, separated by more horizontal platforms.

    Or, they could make it like they did the walkway from Lincoln Pk Way to the north end of Lincoln Park, which is a ramp with “foot-bumps”. For some reason that’s much easier to walk on, even though it’s also a shallow rise.

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