S Henderson Stairway

Updated: August 5, 2022

What's Happening Now?

Construction is well underway for the new Henderson Stairway. Construction is expected to last four to five months.

Recent and upcoming construction activities

Crews set the first stairway concrete forms this week. The bike runnel was poured along with five light pole foundations.

    Starting the week of August 8th, there will be weekly concrete pours on Thursdays. A line pump will be staged on 39th Ave S for distribution of the concrete. One travel lane will be maintained for vehicle access on 39th Ave S.

    Once the top half of the stairway is done, the line pump will be staged on 41st Ave S to complete the remaining concrete pours.

    Stay informed

    To stay up-to-date on what's happening during construction, sign up for email updates here.

    Questions about the project?

    Email us at hendersonstairway@seattle.gov or leave us a voicemail at (206) 257-2153.

    Project Background

    Beginning in 2018, we began the feasibility and planning process for a new stairway on S Henderson St between 39th Ave S and 41st Ave S (approx. 440 ft). The Henderson Stairway will better connect south Beacon Hill residents to the Rainier Beach light rail station, local schools and community amenities, while helping to advance the City's Pedestrian Master Plan goals.

    This stairway is currently planned to include multiple landings to meet ADA requirements, lighting, and a runnel for people to walk their bikes up the stairway. The planned stairway, which has received several community requests, provides a direction connection to Rainier Beach Station from South Beacon Hill and reduces walking distance by approximately 0.5 miles.

    Rendering of S Henderson stairway
    Visualization of stairway upon completion

    Project Benefits

    • Gain another neighborhood connector to schools, Sound Transit light rail, transit and businesses
    • Clearly designate the space for a specific use and reinforce the neighborhood identity through place making and wayfinding
    • Increase engagement opportunities through neighborhood walks, physical challenges, student-led events 
    • Walking improvements help make neighborhoods safer and more connected

    Project Area

    The new stairway will be located on S Henderson St between 39th Ave S and 41st Ave S.

    Project Map for S Henderson Stairway

    Top of stairway (39th Ave S)
    Top of stairway - 39th Ave S

    Bottom of stairway (41st Ave S)
    Bottom of stairway - 41st Ave S


    S Henderson Stairway Profile and Aerial Graphic

    Examples of placemaking, wayfinding and programming around Seattle

    Examples of placemaking around Seattle

    Nearby Projects

    Project Materials

    Project Planning Notice, December 2018

    Visualization of Stairway, June 2020

    Online Drop-in Session Presentation, November 2020

    Outreach Summary Report (from November 2020 Online Drop-in Session and Survey)


    This project has received funding through a grant from Sound Transit.


    2017 Project added to Pedestrian Master Plan
    2018 Began feasibility study
    Early 2019  Began planning and design, sent letter to area neighbors notifying of project initiation
    Due to construction costs, SDOT seeks outside funding
    Fall 2019 SDOT awared Sound Transit System Access Fund grant
    Late 2019 Conducted second round of outreach with letters to adjacent neighbors 
    Summer 2020 Conducted geotech soil sample collection at three locations
    Fall 2020 Online outreach drop-in session and online survey
    Fall 2021 Final Design Milestone
    June 2022 Construction begins