Luther Burbank Dock Reconfiguration and Repairs

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The City's Parks and Recreation Department has begun planning for the future of the docks at the Luther Burbank waterfront. Built in 1974, the docks have less than 5 years of useful service remaining. In addition, the fixed height piers are not useful for smaller boats and don't serve the needs of most current boaters or the City's boating programs.

The City is developing a design to replace the south pier with floating docks while repairing the remaining pier, pending possible state and federal grant funding. This work will use the Luther Burbank Park Master Plan to guide the design process. The plan provides a vision of a waterfront activity center centered around small boats including power, sail and paddlecraft. The design will also consider how to make the waterfront more accessible and attractive for the general public.

The City's Parks and Recreation Department has begun planning for the future of the docks at the Luther Burbank waterfront. Built in 1974, the docks have less than 5 years of useful service remaining. In addition, the fixed height piers are not useful for smaller boats and don't serve the needs of most current boaters or the City's boating programs.

The City is developing a design to replace the south pier with floating docks while repairing the remaining pier, pending possible state and federal grant funding. This work will use the Luther Burbank Park Master Plan to guide the design process. The plan provides a vision of a waterfront activity center centered around small boats including power, sail and paddlecraft. The design will also consider how to make the waterfront more accessible and attractive for the general public.

  • Luther Burbank Docks Open House runs September 2-October 7

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    THE OPEN HOUSE HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH OCTOBER 7.

    The City of Mercer Island is hosting a self-guided, socially-distanced open house at the waterfront in Luther Burbank Park starting Sept. 2 and running through October 7. Boaters and other waterfront users are invited to visit the park (following appropriate COVID-19 measures) and view an outdoor display of project alternatives presented on six posters. See the new concepts for the docks, shoreline and related facilities at the waterfront. After visiting the area, participants can fill out an online questionnaire or take home a paper copy to return to the city.

    If you can't make it to the park, all the same information is available here on this webpage. The following links will download the posters that are displayed at the site.

    If you need some background, start with the introductory posters. This page also has videos and other background materials that may be helpful.

    The concept alternative posters are each a collection of ideas. They are meant to illustrate a range of options for various components of the docks and waterfront.

    Alternative 1
    Alternative 2
    Alternative 3

    A table comparing the Alternatives to the existing facility is available as a "cheat sheet". Pick the ideas that you like best or come up with your own. Then take the online survey or download a paper survey which you can mail in or drop off at the drop box in the Mercer Island City Hall parking lot.

    For more information, or to arrange a socially-distanced tour of the docks with the project manager, contact Paul West at paul.west@mercergov.org or (206) 275-7833.

  • Luther Docks Design Charrette Results Now Available

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    12 August, 2020
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    Video, slides, notes, chat and polling from the Luther Burbank Park docks design charrette (held Aug 6) are now available here on Let's Talk. These become part of the meeting record and feed into the design alternatives that the design team will be developing over the next few weeks.

    A link to the video, as well as the summary/notes, chat, polling and powerpoint slides are available in the right-hand column of this page in the Document Library. The meeting video and minutes are also posted to the City's Parks & Rec webpage.

  • Luther Burbank Docks Design Charrette Set for August 6

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    15 July, 2020
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    The City of Mercer Island invites boaters and other waterfront users to observe and participate in a virtual design charrette for the Luther Burbank Park docks on Thursday August 6 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm, using teleconferencing technology provided by Zoom. This workshop will discuss how the docks will be rebuilt in a new configuration, with an emphasis on serving small power, sail, and paddle craft. It will also explore ways to make the waterfront more accessible and attractive.

    Luther Burbank Park is a very popular waterfront park especially during boating season. The docks at Luther Burbank Park are 46 years old and in need of major repairs. Instead of maintaining the current dock configuration, this project takes direction from the Luther Burbank Park Master Plan, which envisions a lively waterfront activity center focused on small boats. The plan calls for retaining/repairing one pier while replacing the other piers with lower floating docks for better boating access. Creating an accessible waterfront and shoreline for all users is part of the plan. The charrette is an extended interactive workshop that will explore the details of these features. Results from the charrette will be presented to the public for comment in late August.

    This work is funded by the City of Mercer Island and a Boating Facilities Program Grant from Washington State. For questions, contact Paul West at 206.275.7833 or email paul.west@mercergov.org.


    A Note About Registering to Speak: Individuals wishing to speak live during the public input portions of the design charrette are asked to notify Paul West at 206.275.7833 or email paul.west@mercergov.org and leave a message before 4 pm on the day of the workshop. Please reference "Luther Burbank Dock" in your correspondence. The moderator will call on you by name or telephone number when it is your turn to speak.

    Join by Telephone at 5:00 pm: To listen to the meeting or speak live during public input via telephone, please call 253.215.8782 and enter Webinar ID 980 9512 6334 and Password 020977 when prompted. The moderator will call on you by name or the telephone number you provide when registering to speak. Please note, the phone number you provide must match the number you call in on. For meeting security, unrecognized numbers will not be granted access.

    Join by Internet at 5:00 pm: To watch the meeting over the internet or speak live during public input, via your computer microphone, follow these steps:

    1) Click this link
    2) If the Zoom app is not installed on your computer, you will be prompted to download it.
    3) If prompted for Webinar ID, enter 980 9512 6334) Enter Password 020977
    4) The moderator will call on you by name or refer to your email address when it is your turn to speak. Please confirm that your audio works prior to participating.

    Submitting Written Comments: Written comments may be submitted at the Mercer Island Lets Talk Luther Burbank Dock page. Written comments received by 4:00 pm on August 6, 2020, will be read or summarized at the design charrette and become part of the project record on the Let’s Talk site.

    For the safety and well being of the public and staff, the City strongly recommends that people attend the meeting by viewing the live feed using Zoom and join by Internet or phone using the link provided above.

    In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, those requiring accommodation for Council meetings should notify the City Clerk’s Office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting at 206.275.7793.

  • City Applies for Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant

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    07 July, 2020
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    The City of Mercer Island has applied for federal grant funding through the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program to renovate the northern pier at the Luther Burbank Park waterfront. The 46 year old pier needs major structural repairs to remain functional. The project would also add moorage features to improve access for boaters.

    The grant program is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service which evaluates the applications on a nationwide basis. If a grant is awarded, it would fund 75% of the design and construction costs. The renovation would likely take place in 2023 or 2024 because of long lead times for permits and coordination with other phases of the overall dock project.

    This project has support from Friends of Luther Burbank Park, Mercer Island Community Fund, Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce and the Recreational Boating Association of Washington.

  • KPFF Inc. Selected to Design New Docks at Luther Burbank Park

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    20 May, 2020
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    The City of Mercer Island has selected KPFF Inc. to lead the design work for Luther Burbank Park docks. KPFF was one of three firms interviewed. Their long-standing experience in marine facilities and stellar team made their proposal successful. Andy Bennett, PE will be the Principal in charge of the project. Relevant project experience includes work on Meydenbauer Marina, Portage Bay Park, and the Arboretum Waterfront Trail. Work is expected to get underway in June 2020 with site inspection. Look for opportunities to give your opinion on choices for the project later in the summer.

  • WA Boating Facilities Grant Awarded

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    07 August, 2019
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    The City was awarded a $173,000 grant from Washington State's Boating Facilities Program to support a new floating dock to replace some of the fixed piers that currently exist. This will make the dock more usable for small boats and reduce the impact it has on lake habitat. Since the dock needs major repairs, this is a good time to look at this opportunity for needed improvements.

    The dock was built in 1974 also with a Boating Facilities Program grant. That program and others can be used to fund the improvements that come out of this process. Park users will have a chance to give their suggestions as the process gets underway, so stay tuned.

    For more information, contact Paul West at 206-275-7833 or paul.west@mercergov.org.

  • City Applies for Boating Facilities Grant to Pursue Dock Reconfiguration

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    04 March, 2019
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    The City of Mercer Island has applied for a Washington State Boating Facilities Grant through the Recreation and Conservation Office this winter. This grant, if awarded, would contribute to the design of one or more replacement sections of the docks at Luther Burbank Park so that they better meet boaters needs. Time lapse video from 2017 and user surveys shows that most of the boats using these docks are smaller pleasure boats. A floating dock would make it easier for these boats to tie up for day moorage. The current fixed pier docks are too high for small boats to use easily.

    If the City receives the grant, design would start in the second half of 2019. Public input would help guide the design with City Council making a final decision in 2020. Keep your fingers crossed!