Stairway Maintenance Program

What's happening now?

Map

We are working to finish out the list of 2017 stairway projects and finalizing the project list for 2018. There are currently 13 stairways across the city (shown on this map) prioritized to be improved in 2018.

Thank you for taking the 2018 stairway survey

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Respondents mainly use the stairways for exercise and recreation or to get to transit and parks
  • Most respondents find flyers posted at the stairway the best way to get information, followed by email and neighborhood blogs
  • Respondents requested even steps, vegetation removal, and garbage cleanup

If you have questions or comments about the planned 2018 stairway improvements, please contact Alayna Linde at alayna.linde@seattle.gov or 206-922-6215.


Letterbox

Program overview

SDOT owns more that 500 stairways across the city

Seattle is hilly! That’s why we have stairways connecting streets throughout our neighborhoods.

To keep our stairways safe and accessible, SDOT inspects the condition of each public stairway across the city and identifies repairs. Repairs range from replacing the handrails to replacing the stairway altogether.

Current projects

SDOT is repairing/rebuilding stairways at the following locations:

LocationMaterialsType of workStatus
E Mercer Street & 24th Avenue E (Capitol Hill) Stairway reconstruction, sidewalk reconstruction, ADA ramps, and retaining walls Stairway is complete. ADA ramps are planned for late summer 2017.
W Howe St & 32nd Ave W (Magnolia) Stairway reconstruction Stairway is complete.
15th Ave W & W Bertona St (Interbay) Stairway reconstruction Stairway is complete.
W Wheeler St between 12th Ave W & 13th Ave W (upper stairway) (W Queen Anne) Stairway reconstruction Stairway is complete.
S Hanford St between Cheasty Blvd S and Morse Ave S Stairway reconstruction Stairway is complete except final landscaping; open to the public.
Aurora Ave N & Raye St (N Queen Anne) Stairway reconstruction Stairway is complete.
Howe St between 5th Ave N & Bigelow Ave N Stairway reconstruction Stairway is complete.
W Wheeler St between 13th Ave W and Gilman Dr W (W Queen Anne) Stairway reconstruction Stairway is complete.
S Genesee St & Letitia Ave S Stairway reconstruction Scheduled for July through early September, depending on weather
E Howell St between 25th and 26th Ave E Stairway maintenance Scheduled for July through early September, depending on the weather
Upper stairway between 34th Ave E and Letitia Ave S Stairway reconstruction Scheduled for August through early October, depending on the weather

FAQs about stairway maintenance

  1. How long does it take to rebuild a stairway?
    • Rebuilding a stairway generally takes about 2 months to complete. That work includes clearing the adjacent vegetation, demolishing the old stairway, pouring new concrete, and fabricating and installing new handrails.

    • Some projects take longer for various reasons. Projects that include retaining walls – to prevent landslides – take more time to build. Also, SDOT’s stairway crews are the same crews that complete emergency maintenance work around the city, so sometimes the work schedule needs to be adjusted so crews can complete emergency work.
  2. Can I use the stairway while it’s being rebuilt?
    • Usually we need to close the stairways as we’re reconstructing them to allow space to demolish the stairway and rebuild a new one. We post detour maps at the top and bottom of the stairway so people know of nearby options.

    • If we’re doing smaller maintenance work, like replacing a handrail, we’re usually able to keep the stairway open. In general, crews work to keep the stairways open as much as possible.
  3. How do you inform neighbors of stairway work?
    • We work to inform neighbors of stairway work in various ways including:
      • Notifying neighbors through local blogs
      • Posting notices at the top and bottom of the stairway before work starts
      • Delivering notices to neighbors adjacent to the stairways as well as nearby community centers, libraries, and neighborhood bulletin boards
      • Updating this webpage with the latest status on each stairway

Funding

SDOT's Stairway Maintenance Program is funded through SDOT's Operations and Maintenance budget and the Levy to Move Seattle. Approved by voters in 2015, the 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city.

Contact information

If you have questions or comments about SDOT’s Stairway Maintenance Program, please contact:

Sara Colling
Community Outreach Lead
sara.colling@seattle.gov
(206) 727-8697