Stairway Maintenance Program

Last updated: March 11, 2019

What’s happening now?

2019 construction underway
Crews have started construction on the 2019 stairway projects! There are currently 16 stairways across the city prioritized to be improved in 2019.

Thank you for responding to fact sheets that were posted at stairways. 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 Greg Funk at or 206-733-9657.


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:

  • Myrtle & 25th Ave SW - under construction
  • W Dravus - under construction (new handrail only)
  • Raye St & Aurora - substantially complete
  • SW Orleans & 60th Ave SW - under construction
  • SW Hinds & 35th Ave SW - under construction
  • S Lander St & 34th Ave S - planned for 2019
  • S Bradford & 31st - scheduled to start construction in March 2019
  • S Adams St & Alley Way - scheduled to start construction in March 2019
  • W Dravus St & 30th Ave W- scheduled to start construction in late April 2019
  • S Hinds & 20th Ave S - scheduled to start construction in late April 2019
  • SW Spokane & Admiral - scheduled to start construction in late April 2019
  • S Adams St & Letitia Ave S - scheduled to start construction in June 2019
  • S Judkins St & 14th Ave S - scheduled to start in June 2019
  • 20th Ave NE & NE 98th St - scheduled start in late June 2019
  • 20th Ave NE & NE 98th St - scheduled to start in late July 2019
  • S Ferdinand St & 54th Ave S - planned for 2019 (new handrail only) 

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


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:

Greg Funk