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Lower Mapes Creek Restoration Project

The Lower Mapes Creek Restoration Project moves creek flows out of a storm drain pipe into a dedicated pipe that then will flow into an open, natural creek channel through Beer Sheva Park to Lake Washington. This project will increase the quality and amount of habitat along the Lake Washington shoreline for threatened juvenile Chinook salmon by creating additional riparian habitat and provide an environmental amenity in the park for everyone to enjoy and experience. The project will also include pathway improvements, a new pedestrian bridge over the creek channel and a new art piece within the park. These envisioned improvements can be seen in the graphics shown at right.

The Lower Mapes Creek Restoration Project will be constructed jointly with Seattle Public Utilities’ 52nd Ave. S. Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Reduction Project. The joint project will include the installation of new pipes in 52nd Ave. S. right-of-way from Rainier Ave. S. to S. Henderson St., and the S. Henderson St. Right-of-way, from 52nd Ave. S. to Beer Sheva Park.

Project Schedule

The current construction schedule is as follows:

  • The construction contract has been awarded to MidMountain Contractors, Inc.
  • The Notice to Proceed was issued to MidMountain on December 5, 2013
  • Expected start for onsite construction January 2014
  • Construction complete by October 2014*
  • Plant establishment through September 2015*

*Date depends upon the construction of Mapes Creek channel in Beer Sheva Park

The Mapes Walkway is expected to be closed from mid-March through July 2014.

Temporary Construction Impacts

Traffic around the park will be affected, but access to the boat launch will be maintained throughout construction. General construction impacts will include closure of portions of Beer Sheva Park, temporary closure of the 52nd Ave. S. Walkway and delays to traffic and Metro transit service on S. Henderson St. and Seward Park Ave. S.

August 1, 2013 Update

The Lower Mapes Creek Restoration Project is currently experiencing budgetary constraints. While design is complete, we are investigating options for lowering project construction costs. We are also looking into additional funding options for construction. A decision about whether to construct this project this year will be made in September 2013.

October 11, 2012 Update

SPU has completed the 60% design for the 52nd Ave. S. CSO Reduction and Lower Mapes Creek Restoration Projects. View plans (pdf).

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) “Notice of Proposed Land Use Action” sign was installed at Beer Sheva Park for several weeks, with the comments period ending on October 12, 2012.

And, finally, you may have seen bright yellow signs attached to several trees in the project area for a while. These trees in the public right-of-way and will have to be removed for the work; nearly half of the 34 trees are less than 3 inches in diameter. When the work is completed, we will plant 24 new trees to replace them.

August 14, 2012 Community Meeting

Rainier Beach community members and interested neighbors gathered at the Rainier Beach Library on Tuesday, August 14th, to learn more about the design for restoring Lower Mapes Creek through Beer Sheva Park; the underground utility work along the Mapes Walkway, 52nd Ave. S. and S. Henderson St. next summer.
View SPU’s presentation (pdf)
Community comments and questions (pdf)

Back2SchoolBash200x150Back2School Bash
On Saturday, August 11, SPU set up an information table at the “Back 2 School Bash” in Beer Sheva Park from noon to 4 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition, drew hundreds of attendees, mostly families with children.

Many visited SPU’s table to learn more about the project that will bring a new creek channel through the park. “Before and After” graphics were displayed and project brochures were distributed in English, Spanish, Chinese, Somali and Tagalog. View the project brochure (pdf) English

The outreach team also promoted the community meeting on Tuesday, 8/14th, at Rainier Beach Library. 

Artist Selected – John Grade
The combined Lower Mapes Creek Restoration Project and 52nd Ave. S. CSO Reduction Project will receive $200,000 in Percent for Arts funding. Accordingly, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture issued a call for artists’ proposals in the spring. A panel of artists, Rainier Beach community members, Seattle Parks & Recreation staff and SPU staff ultimately selected Seattle artist John Grade to create a permanent, site-specific design for the project. John attended the community meeting on August 14th, where people had a chance to meet him and talk briefly about his approach to the commission. Learn more about the artist >

SEPA Status

Seattle Public Utilities has determined this project does not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. The Determination of Non-significance (DNS) was signed and issued on February 16, 2012. Comments must be submitted by March 1, 2012, and an appeal must be filed no later than March 8, 2012.

Please see the documents below for more details:

Links to other sites

Beer Sheva Park
Lake Washington Watershed
Mapes Creek 52nd Ave Walkway

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