Over $1 million budgeted for Seattle’s stairways

This year’s SDOT budget includes funding from three separate programs for maintaining and rehabilitating city-owned stairways.

According to John Buswell, Manager of Roadway Structures, over $200,000 is budgeted for stairway maintenance. This includes routine repairs and approximately 70 stairway inspections. “Typical repairs may be the replacement of a damaged rail section, repair of a broken stairway tread, or damage following a winter storm.”

The remainder of the funding is for rehabilitating stairways that are beyond simple repairs. More than half of the remaining $900k comes from the voter-approved transportation levy Bridging the Gap, which is funded through 2016. According to Buswell:

Often we are able to completely replace a stairway, adding new features that meet the current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for stairways. This work will usually add up to 75 years of additional useful life to the stairway.

Seattle has over 480 public stairways. Keeping them in good condition is a challenge, but they are an important and unique component of the city’s transportation infrastructure.

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2 Responses to “Over $1 million budgeted for Seattle’s stairways”


  • That is fantastic. I have mapped out all the public stairs and we have climbed every one last year (and are doing many more again, now we are “hooked”). These are a great resource for citizens of Seattle and visitors. Who is responsible for raking leaves off the stairs? This is making many of the really nice stairs slippery. Some also have blackberry bushes that are trying to snag anybody climbing the stairs.

  • There’s a great map of Queen Anne’s stairs (available at QA Books). There are several good locations for stairs that were never built. The city still owns the right-of-way and they’re generally overgrown with berry bushes. It would be great if they added stairs.

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