Seattle Department of Transportation crews are restoring the stairway on Southwest Spokane Street between SW 60th and SW 61st streets. They are now performing preliminary work at the site and by Monday, May 23, they plan to close the stairway to begin construction work. They expect to complete the restoration by midsummer.
The 62-foot stairway provides a pedestrian and bicycle connection from Beach Drive SW along the water to the top of the hill. The existing 62-foot long stairway is more than 60 years old, in poor condition, and does not meet current standards. The stairs are made of rails and concrete slabs salvaged in the 1940’s when the city converted from trolleys to buses, and now have a hand rail on only one side.
The new stairs will be more than five feet wide, made of reinforced concrete, and will have a railing on each side. A “runnel” (a ledge on which to set the wheels of a bicycle) will be added to allow bicyclists to push their bikes up and down the stairs.
These improvements are funded by Bridging the Gap transportation initiative approved by Seattle voters.