Lowman Beach Park Seawall

Updated: June 28, 2022

Thank you, Seattle! This project is complete.

The grass at Lowman Beach is fully established and the contractor has removed all the remaining security fencing on site. The park is fully open and accessible for public use throughout the entire park at Lowman Beach.


February 2022

In January, Seattle Parks and Recreation and McClung Construction completed preparation and shoring for the seawall installation for the Lowman Beach Park seawall and beach restoration project in West Seattle. Unfortunately, one of the seawall precast panels was the wrong dimension and was unable to be installed. The team has been working around the clock to refabricate and recast this one panel segment. Once the new panel is delivered to site, the contractor will resume installation of all panels starting on February 09, 2022, and be completed by February 23. This work must be performed at night to take advantage of the low tides.

The original permit for in water work expired on February 15, however, we were granted a maximum two week extension by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and must have work completed by February 28.  

Two work windows at low tides still needed to complete:

  1. Resume installing the precast wall panels - This is expected to take another three to four nights of work.
  2. Completion of Pelly Creek - This is expected to take another two or three nights of work. We were previously planning to complete this on the week of February 7-11 during normal working hours, however, it can only be completed after the seawall panels are installed. To meet the February 28 deadline for beach grading the contractor may need to work extended hours.

The contractor has obtained another Temporary Noise Variance Permit (6881011-NV) issued by Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI). The permit states work can occur between 7 PM and 7 AM starting Wednesday, February 09, 2022 at 7 PM and stopping no later than Wednesday, February 23 at 7 AM.

Although the permit allows for 14 nights of work, the contractor expects to work a maximum of eight nighttime shifts. The contractor will do what is feasible to mitigate the inconvenience by keeping the noise levels down as much as possible, disabling backup alarms, and avoiding high-impact work. 

The installation is challenging, because this work must be completed at workable low tides. The time limitation for work below the ordinary high water line is to protect fish and shellfish habitats at the job site per Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The workable low tides in January and February occur outside normal working hours. In order to meet permit requirements and accommodate physical tidal challenges, we will have to work at night for seawall installation and complete beach grading.

The seawall installation requires a 10-foot deep excavation that must be shored to prevent cave-ins and to support an existing structure. Additional care must be given to the existing structure because the required excavation depth is deeper than the bottom of the existing structure's foundation. Once excavated, a crane will swing in the 20,000-pound precast concrete wall components, which will then be welded in place. This portion of the work requires workers to physically be in the excavated and shored hole. Due to the high risk, magnitude, and unique existing site conditions of this work, we must perform the excavation and installation of the new seawall in a safe and dry environment, when the tide is at its lowest point.

Seattle Parks and Recreation awarded the construction contract to Mike McClung Construction. They mobilized on site after Labor Day 2020 and partially closed the park. Closure includes beach access, tennis court and trail access. Public access to a portion of the lawn and playground area will be maintained. See larger photo of closure area.

Aerial view map of park showing area closed during seawall project construction. Red area is closed portion of park.

View the Seawall Landscape Plan here

Location

Lowman Beach Park, 7017 Beach Drive SW, 98136

Budget

Funding for the feasibility study and design of the project came from State and local grants: $400,000 from the King County Flood Control District's Cooperative Watershed Management Fund (CWM) in two grants and $200,000 from the State's Salmon Recovery Funding Board. We received an additional $450,000 from King County's CWM Fund and $500,000 from the State's Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account to fund the construction of the project.

Schedule

Planning & Design: 2017 - May 2021
Bidding: Late Spring - Late Summer 2021
Construction: Late Summer 2021 - Spring 2022

Project Description

The goal of this project is to remove the remainder of the failing seawall and continue shoreline restoration work that began when the south half of the seawall failed in the mid-1990's.

Lowman Beach Park will be partially closed during construction including closure to the beach access, tennis court and trail access. The project will maintain public access to the lawn and playground area.

Community Participation

Public Meeting February 2019
February 28, 2019 Preliminary Design Presentation
February 28, 2019 Meeting Notes 
February 28, 2019 Meeting Poster  

In May 2017, together with our design consultant Environmental Science Associates (ESA), SPR presented a feasibility study with three design options to address the failing seawall. 
May 31, 2017 Preliminary Feasibility Study Presentation 
May 31, 2017 Lowman Beach Design Alternatives  

November 2015, Thanksgiving Storm - seawall begins to fail and tilt waterward.

Project Design and Environmental Documents: 

2020 Lowman Beach Park 90% Design Plans
2020 Lowman Beach Park 90% Design Basis of Design Report 
    • Appendices - 90% Design Basis of Design Report   · Appendix A    · Appendix B    · Appendix C    · Appendix D    · Appendix E     · Appendix F     · Appendix G    · Appendix H

2019 Lowman Beach Park 60% Design Plans
2019 Lowman Beach Park 60% Design Basis of Design Report  

2019 Lowman Beach Park 30% Design Plans 

In September 2019 Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) determined that the project does not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. An environmental impact statement (EIS) was not required under RCW 43.21C.030(2)(c). This decision was made after review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file with SPR. The Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) was issued on September 12, 2019 and is available below.   In February 2019 SPR presented the preliminary design (30% design) for the Lowman Beach Park Restoration and Seawall Removal project. The preliminary design takes into consideration both the habitat benefits of the seawall removal and the coastal engineering ramifications of that seawall removal. Given the design constraints of the project, the existing tennis court will be removed. A remnant of Pelly Creek that currently flows under the seawall will be daylighted as part of the project.
2019 SEPA Determination of Non-Significance

2017 Lowman Beach Feasibility Study
2017 Lowman Beach Feasibility Study - Geotechnical Evaluation 

2016 Lowman Beach Park Survey