New Seawall for Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook in 2015?

Plans are being finalized for a badly needed revamp for the deteriorating section of seawall at Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook. Rebecca Rufin, PE Parks Engineering Manager was kind enough to reply to Beach Drive Blog’s email inquiry on any future plans to shore up the south portion of the vulnerable seawall.

Currently the US Army Corps of Engineers, with whom we have partnered under a preliminary federal grant program, is putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive study of a seawall replacement proposal.  The study includes analysis of several design options and establishes a preferred approach based on economic, environmental, and other factors.  When the study is complete, it will be sent to the federal offices in Washington DC for final approval and funding.

Assuming it is approved, the preferred design will essentially build a new seawall in front of the existing one, which will be left in place.  The new seawall will be a bit higher.  This would result in a park area adjacent to the street that will be a few feet wider and significantly more level, making it much more amenable for walking trail, landscape elements, and benches. 

As for schedule, we do not anticipate project approval to proceed until sometime this summer.  Detailed design would then commence, with construction likely the summer of 2015.

All the above is subject to change, but it’s the most likely scenario at this time.

 

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Did I also mention this beauty sits on a fault line?!

 

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Imagine a another 10+ feet of level park grass.

 

City and County officials have been eying the need to fix/repair this critical section of bulkhead for nearly a decade. The West Seattle Herald reported back in 2006 about fears of an environmental disaster if something wasn’t done soon. Quoting Les Soule, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…

“If there is a major storm, there could be a loss of a portion of the seawall,” he said. “We would sure lose the 54-inch sewer main.”

The same article went on to quote Seattle City Councilman Richard Conlin, who served as the chairman of the City Council’s Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee back in ’06…

“The danger of catastrophic failure is real, which is why we are taking it up as an emergency preparedness mitigation project,” Conlin wrote in an e-mail response to questions. “It did fail to the north of this project site in 1998 during a winter storm.”

The sewer line behind the seawall carries about 50 million gallons of sewage a day northward along Beach Drive on its way to the West Point sewage treatment plant, Conlin said.

 

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The following year, this Statement of Intent was entered:

 

 

Emma Schmitz Memorial Park-Seawall Repair

(SLI 122-1-A-2)

Statement of Legislative Intent: No later than June 15, 2007, the Department of Parks and Recreation will report to the Council Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee on updated cost estimates and methods, a cost sharing plan and a timeline for repair of the Emma Schmitz Memorial Park Seawall. The Department will work with the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Office of Emergency Management and King County Metro in developing the cost estimates and plans. The Department is also requested to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to see if they are able to reinitiate funding for the project.

Responsible Council Committee(s): Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Date Due to Council: June 15, 2007

I hope our tax dollars get put to work on this over-due project before a new wave of storms slam into the seawall.

Hat tip to neighbor Ed for alerting us that something was brewing at the park. His request for donating a park bench for dear friends that have recently passed is being delayed until the Seattle Parks Dept get a clearer picture of pending construction.

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

*A case study published in 2008 by a UW student “Planning for Sea Level Rise in Seattle, Washington“ centered it’s attention to replacement of the Emma Schmitz seawall. (I know all of you must be eager to hear my book report on it:))

Found: Cat

Are you missing a stocky cat? This kitty has been hanging out around 58th and Chilberg.  A Beach Drive neighbor describes the kitty as:

“He has a long tail and was not spooked by me but would not come near me. A bit larger than the average with thick looking legs. He did not seem feral but wary. He is not here any longer but hung out for about 20-30 min. Hopefully he is just roaming and will go home but he does not look like any of the neighbors cats and the raccoons are back so wanted to check…”

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Are you missing a kayak?

UPDATE 9:50 AM: The kayak is being retrieved by the SPD.

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There appears to be a submerged kayak floating off the shores of Emma Schmitz Park this morning.

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The Seattle Police Department has a boat that just happens to be in Port Orchard, that will be checking this out. The Coast Guard has been notified as well.

LOST DOG: Have you seen Charlie?

This just in:

Missing poodle mix !!! He is in a foster home and the leash slipped out of their hands!
He is wearing his collar, leash, harness and has his microchip tag on him!!!!

Please call 208-320-2590

He was lost in the area near 35th and Barton.. They lost sight of him near Fauntleroy Park.

Charlie was last spotted Tuesday evening at 9:30 pm at 44th & Cambridge. He ran back into the park.

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Are you missing a puppy? (FOUND & REUNITED!)

Update 9:30AM Found the hound!

Thanks to several Beach Drive neighbors… Charlotte, Judy, Kevin, Jeff, guy with stroller, lady with dogs, passing cars with sightings, etc. we managed to track Brownie down and reunite him with relieved owners.

Original Post…

Reports are coming in of a puppy who looks to be about 40 pounds and a lab-sheppard mix, running scared around Jacobson and Beach Drive.  He is too frightened to come when called.

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Missing Kitty: Have you seen Fiona?

UPDATE: Fiona has been happily reunited with her human.  

Fiona is a black and white kitten who has been missing from the Beach Drive area since February 20th. You may have seen some of her flyers posted along Beach Drive.

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Jacobson closed due to a tree

Jacobson was closed due to a leaning tree that is in the process of coming down.

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Hopefully Jacobson is re-opened by the time you read this post!

Gale Warning in effect starting at 4pm Today

It seems so calm right now, it’s hard to believe we could have waves splashing over bulkheads over the next 24 hours.

Our next high tide is a 10.19 at 4:46 pm tonight…just after the gale warning is in effect. Marine forecast (below) currently has waves building to 4-6 feet in the afternoon starting from the NE and switching to SW in the evening.

The high tide following that is 11.72 at 6:00 am Sunday morning. Marine forecast is for waves of 3 to 5 feet from the SW.

We’re making sure our pumps are ready…just in case.

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Windy, Wavy, Rainy Weekend

We are “on watch” for the weather this weekend because of the high tides along big winds that are heading our way. Hopefully everything simmers down before the weekend – however, it’s always best to be prepared for worst case scenario.  It’s looking like a good weekend to cuddle up with your Valentine…after making sure you have enough gas for your trash pump, generator is working and you have spare candles.

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Sailing Sea Lion off of Emma Schmitz View Point

We’ve been watching a large sea lion floating off the shores of Beach Drive for the last couple hours. You may not even notice him as he looks like a log for a majority of the time…until he lifts his big head for some air.

We did contact Seal Sitters, as I’m told others have as well, and were told that he is probably “sailing” (also referred to as “logging”) to reserve energy during this cold weather. If he does come to shore or seems in distress, the person at Seal Sitters asked that they be called again.