That 475-foot stretch of seawall at Emma Schmitz Overlook along Beach Drive is set for replacement in the next few years – but the city and federal agencies working on it are looking for public comment right now. Beach Drive Blog has been following the plans for the project, and this morning, the official news release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has arrived:
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, has partnered with the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department to design and implement a coastal storm damage reduction project under Section 103 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962, as amended. The public comment period for this project runs through Dec. 31.
Emma Schmitz Overlook is located at 4503 Beach Drive SW, south of Alki Point in Seattle. The site includes a seawall built around 1927 that has deteriorated over time. Currently coastal storms and erosion threaten public infrastructure located in and around the seawall, including a 54-inch King County sewer main, a major public arterial, city park property and other underground utilities. The recommended plan includes construction of a soldier pile seawall parallel to the shoreline throughout the study area. The new seawall would be a few feet higher and seaward of the existing seawall. This would provide protection against damages caused by coastal storm events that occur in Puget Sound.
In 1998, the City of Seattle was prompted to take emergency action to stabilize the shoreline to the north of the proposed federal project when storm waves resulted in the failure of a similar section of existing seawall and subsequent erosion of shoreline protection that threatened utilities, roadways, and public lands. The city completed permanent emergency repairs on this adjacent site which is not included in the scope of the proposed Federal project.
The recommended plan was chosen because it has the least environmental impact, was the least cost alternative and meets all project purposes. It includes construction of a soldier pile wall parallel to the shoreline throughout the study area. Coordination with resource agencies and federal tribes is ongoing and preliminary indications expect a concurrence with the project.
The implementation cost of the recommended plan is estimated to be $2.29 million and will be cost-shared with 65 percent federal ($1,488,000) funds and 35 percent non-federal ($801,000) funds. The non-federal sponsor, Seattle Parks and Recreation, is responsible for all lands, easements, right-of-ways, relocations, and/or disposal areas which are controlled by the sponsor. Economic analysis suggests the project could prevent millions of dollars of physical and non-physical damages, resulting on a positive benefit-cost ratio.
Submit comments to this office, Attn: Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch, no later than December 31, 2014 to ensure consideration. In addition to sending comments via mail, comments may be e-mailed to Melissa.L.Leslie@usace.army.mil. The Notice of Availability and Detailed Project Report/Environmental Assessment can be found at (this) website.
Requests for additional information should be directed to Ms. Melissa Leslie at 206-764-6587, or the above e-mail address.
The two documents mentioned above are the first two on the website the announcement points you to; both include “Alki” in the name, though they are on the west-facing Beach Drive shore.