Kite Hill in Gas Works Park to close From September – May for soil cover project

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in cooperation with Seattle Parks and Recreation is working on a soil cover project at Gas Works Park that will close Kite Hill from the day after Labor Day (Sept. 2) to the following Memorial Day, 2015.

The project adds a layer of soil and plants new grass on Kite Hill in advance of an offshore sediment cleanup at the edge of Lake Union. Preliminary construction activity starts on Aug. 18, 2014 with Kite Hill and the surrounding area closing on Sept. 2.

The lengthy closure is needed to allow the new grass to get established before the area is reopened to the public. Gas Works Park is located at 2101 N Northlake Way on the north edge of Lake Union.

For approximately six weeks there will be intense construction activity with large trucks and earth moving equipment removing the existing topsoil and pathways and hauling and placing new material. The sundial at the top of Kite Hill will be protected in place and will not be removed. New pathways, in basically the same location as the existing paths, will be added to Kite Hill during the initial construction phase. The intermediate path on the south side of the hill is the only path that will be eliminated. A second round of hydro-seed (grass) may be needed in the spring prior to reopening Kite Hill to the public. When Kite Hill is reopened, the look and feel of the hill will be the same as it is today.

PSE is the successor in interest to the former owner (Washington Natural Gas) of the park site when it was used for a plant to manufacture gas from coal during the first half of the 20th century. PSE and the City of Seattle are the two responsible parties for the on-going cleanup of Gas Works Park. The City and PSE have a consent decree with the state Department of Ecology for the upland portion of the site.

PSE is currently working on the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS), which will address the offshore sediment contamination and present options for the cleanup. One of the issues associated with the sediment work is the potential recontamination of the remedy from outside source(s) including uncovered areas of the park where there may be contamination at the surface. By adding clean soil to Kite Hill the risk of recontamination of the sediment from the surface flow of storm water is minimized. Both Ecology and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are very supportive of this early action as we move towards the sediment remedy.

For more information please visit the park webpage at http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=293 or contact David Graves, Sr. Planner for Seattle Parks and Recreation at 206-684-7048 or david.graves@seattle.gov.

###