FOLLOWUP: Here’s who will replace Beach Drive seawall

(Corps of Engineers photo, 2014)

Announced this morning:

The Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, awarded a $3 million contract September 27 to Redside Construction based in Bainbridge Island to replace an existing seawall in West Seattle.

The project will replace the existing 500-foot-long seawall at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, 4503 Beach Dr. SW, that was constructed in the 1920s and has experienced significant erosion and damage from storm events. We anticipate construction in mid-2020.

The new seawall will be a “soldier pile” (system of vertical piles spaced at a regular interval with material in between to create a wall) design, built a few feet seaward and a few feet higher than the existing seawall, and equipped with safety handrails that the current seawall lacks. This design will minimize the impact on the beach, address rising sea level concerns and create better contours for the restoration landscaping on the landward portion of the overlook area.

The Army Corps has partnered with Seattle Parks and Recreation to design and build this coastal storm damage reduction project under Section 103 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962. Coastal storms and erosion continue to threaten public infrastructure located in and around the project footprint, including a 54-inch King County sewer main, a main public arterial, City park property, and other underground utilities.

The Seattle Parks project page is here; our coverage of a Q&A community meeting about the project back in July is here. Community comments were first solicited in 2014, when the project was estimated to cost $2.3 million.

7 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Here's who will replace Beach Drive seawall"

  • Nw mama October 2, 2019 (1:46 pm)

    Yikes.  So can I safely extrapolate this cost to assume if I were a homeowner with 50 feet of beach front and I needed to replace my seawall I’d be out $300 K?

    • Peter October 2, 2019 (5:06 pm)

      Nobody is going to shed a single tear over someone who can afford beach front property in Seattle. 

      • John Skerratt October 2, 2019 (6:35 pm)

        Some people have lived in those houses for decades or inherited them from family members. Just because the state chooses to overvalue houses or that someone lives in a nice place doesn’t mean that there are extremely rich. That’s a very cruel thing to say

        • Whaaa? October 2, 2019 (7:55 pm)

          Get ahold of yourself. Sayi g that is not cruel. If someone owns beachfront property they are rich either in cash or equity. If they are not then would love to hear why. 

          • Kaycee October 3, 2019 (8:36 pm)

            Hmmm…. the property taxes on those places should go toward improvements on those places’ community.  So while some people love to resent anyone that might have a little more than they do, they also pay a little more than the hater in property taxes.  I am disgusted by the wealth disparity in this country, but resenting ir hating someone that has a little more than you is not how we fix it.  The government is shaking down the middle class. Yes, these are upper middle class, these are not the uber wealthy elites that are buying off our politicians. Some may even be one crisis away from homelessness.  It can happen to nearly anyone! 

  • Jim P. October 2, 2019 (4:41 pm)

    Finally, a wall built by the current administration we can back.  ;)” So can I safely extrapolate this cost to assume if I were a homeowner
    with 50 feet of beach front and I needed to replace my seawall I’d be
    out $300 K?”Best look at what all went into it.  Probably half the price was environmental studies and a raft of legalities.  Plus remediation of the old wall etc etc etc.No idea if it’s a good price or not but stuff along the shore is never going to be cheap if it’s done right.  I doubt they will be stopping at Home Depot for day laborers.  :)

    • WSB October 2, 2019 (5:13 pm)

      Also please note the details such as, this had to be planned in a way that would not affect the large sewer line that runs close to it. Probably not the same as what a private property owner is dealing with.

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