FOLLOWUP: Here’s when Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook walkway work will resume

10:43 AM: Another “you asked, so we checked” followup: A reader emailed photos from the Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook seawall project site, noting:

For several months, this site has featured an increasingly sagging wood fence (plus a short stretch of chain link fence) blocking access to the apparent gravel base for a paved walk, a few scattered construction materials, and an upended wheelbarrow. There is a small section of cement walkway in the center.

Nothing seems to be being done to complete the walkway and return this public space to the public. Or, at a minimum, whatever is being done is happening at a snail’s pace.

Our last update was in January, when the project appeared close to completion, and at the time on schedule.

Though the waterfront site at 4503 Beach Drive SW belongs to Seattle Parks, the project has been led by the US Army Corps of Engineers, so we asked spokesperson Andrew Muñoz about the situation. His reply:

The US Army Corps of Engineers expects work on the unfinished walkway to begin the week of April 5. Final grading should happen shortly thereafter. Once USACE has completed the seawall project, Seattle Parks and Recreation will work on restoring the park area at the top of the seawall to make park improvements (irrigation, grass, and plantings).

We anticipate this will be complete by early summer.

What his reply didn’t say was – why the long pause in the project? We’re still pursuing that answer. The main part of the work involved building a new section of seawall to replace the old, failing one and protect a major sewer main that runs next to it.

3:09 PM: Here’s Muñoz’s reply to our followup: “In our walkthroughs of the site, we discovered the walkway had slopes steeper than our design called for. As a result it was not fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Correcting the issue has taken a little longer than we would have liked, however; that’s caused the delay.”

4 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Here's when Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook walkway work will resume"

  • pupsarebest March 30, 2021 (12:07 pm)

    A minor miracle the wheelbarrow hasn’t been stolen after all this time.

  • Craig March 30, 2021 (1:09 pm)

    Thanks. I wonder about this project every time I walk past it. Nice to have the view back, and great that it’s mostly done. It’s just sooooo close to being finished and really weird to me they stopped so close to finishing the sidewalk, and walked away. 

  • ericb March 30, 2021 (2:54 pm)

    I had a short conversation with a worker a few weeks ago.  They poured most of the concrete sidewalk, but it was too steep for ADA rules.  It was ripped out and then regraded.  But that left too much of steep slope on the side, necessitating a railing… and then a problem with that… so the path needed some more design work.  In short a mess.

    • WSB March 30, 2021 (3:07 pm)

      I just got a reply to my followup question, mostly along those lines, adding above.

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