Mercerdale Playground Renovation Project

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Mercerdale Park playground ("Train Park") is getting close to opening!

Playground Completion is Delayed until Spring

The Mercerdale Park playground equipment installation is delayed again. Continuing record cold weather has slowed site work and prevents us from installing the new playground surfacing until the weather cooperates. Dry weather and nighttime low temps that stay consistently above 45 degrees are key to the success of the rubber surfacing.

Last fall, manufacturing and supply chain issues delayed the arrival of equipment. Playworld, the manufacturer of the playground equipment, experienced a significant fire at their plant in early May. News story here.

Mercerdale Park playground ("Train Park") is getting close to opening!

Playground Completion is Delayed until Spring

The Mercerdale Park playground equipment installation is delayed again. Continuing record cold weather has slowed site work and prevents us from installing the new playground surfacing until the weather cooperates. Dry weather and nighttime low temps that stay consistently above 45 degrees are key to the success of the rubber surfacing.

Last fall, manufacturing and supply chain issues delayed the arrival of equipment. Playworld, the manufacturer of the playground equipment, experienced a significant fire at their plant in early May. News story here. We received equipment in December, and our equipment is now installed.

Our partner, Mercer Island Preschool Association supported this project from the beginning. MIPA has contributed and raised over $54,000 for the project. Way to go MIPA!

Why is the City Replacing the Playground Equipment?

The existing playground is 19 years old, and the equipment is at the end of its useful life. The groundcover chips have also broken down and are clogging the drainage system. The level of the play surface will be raised to meet the top of the existing concrete edging to improve accessibility, but the edging, seating and landscaping will remain in place.

  • Rubber Surfacing has Arrived!

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    This thick layer of shredded rubber will be topped with a color layer

    The playground surface crew is working to install the poured-in-place resilient rubber surfacing this week and next week. The weather is expected to cooperate. First a thick layer of shredded rubber is installed over the gravel base. Then the top color layer is applied to make a smooth finished surface. The binder takes 2-3 days to dry. After that, play grass will be installed under the main climbing structure. That work should be completed by the end of May.

    The last phase of the playground installation will start in early June. The contractor will clean up the site and inspect the play equipment to make sure it is working properly. City crews will install benches and finish landscaping in preparation for opening the playground later in June.


  • Concrete Flatwork

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    Update: Concrete pathways around the playground are being poured and setting!

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Due to the ongoing King County concrete strike, the City’s contractor has coordinated with an out of county concrete supplier to complete the concrete flatwork around the playground. The demand for this work is high, but crews have scheduled the concrete flatwork for April 19.

    Playground experts are still watching for the perfect succession of dry, warm days and moderate temperatures at night (for curing purposes) to install the resilient rubber playground surfacing. While the weather has gotten close a few times this spring, installation experts felt the conditions were not quite right. Once the playground surfacing is in place, crews will then install the playground grass. Crews will need one week onsite after the resilient rubber surfacing is completed to finish.

    Crews continue to prepare for the opening of the playground, including installing the park bench plaques that have just arrived!

    Updated April 14, 2022

  • Ready for Surfacing and Concrete!

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    The play equipment is installed! The playground is close to completion but two final steps remain before the playground can re-open: (1) play surface installation and (2) concrete flatwork.

    Installation of the resilient rubber surfacing (like Luther Burbank Park playground) needs warmer weather. While crews have been waiting on the weather to cooperate, the project also faces a possible delay with the ongoing concrete strike.

    There are paths and bench pads that require large amounts of concrete. The strike has lasted for three months, longer than City staff expected. Unfortunately, the playground cannot reopen until this work is also completed.

    In the meantime, the installation team will work to complete other details so that reopening can occur quickly once the strike is resolved.

  • Playground Equipment Installed

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    Crews have been installing the new playground equipment! The structures were completed the first week of February. Check out the photos here.

    The playground surfacing crew needs dry weather and 45-degree temperatures to install the resilient surfacing – it may take several weeks to get a window.

    City staff are estimating completion in late February.

  • Playground Installation Update

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    In mid-December, crews finished installing the train play sculpture and the rest of the playground structures are being installed!

    Unfortunately, the holidays, snow, and cold weather shut down operations for the past two weeks.

    Next steps: Crews have two more weeks of assembly to finish the play structures and the playground surfacing crew needs dry weather and 50-degree temperatures to install the resilient surfacing – it may take several weeks to get a window.

    City staff are estimating completion in late February.

  • All Aboard! (Almost!)

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    The iconic Mercerdale Playground train returns to Town Center!

    Crews just finished the install. Check out our photos!

    The train being craned in.

    The train has landed.

    Climbing Structure is going up!


    Check out the latest on the installation schedule.

  • It's coming!

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    Mercerdale play equipment is coming. Another supply chain shortage in the color powder coating has caused further delay, so the opening of the playground will likely be in early 2022. Here is an updated timeline:

    • Site work is currently underway and expected to continue thru Thanksgiving.
    • The new Mercerdale Train sculpture is scheduled to arrive early December.
    • Mid-December the rest of the playground equipment is scheduled to arrive. Our team is actively working to push this to arrive earlier. With the foundation work currently happening, this should go together in about a week.
    • Once the equipment is installed, the poured-in-place rubber surfacing will be applied. This is installation requires decent weather…not the storms we’ve been experiencing this fall. Let’s hope the Pineapple Express is done moving thru our area for the installation!
    • Playground grass (synthetic grass) is scheduled to be installed near the end of December.


  • Demolition Underway

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    Demolition is underway at the Mercerdale Park Playground as crews prepare the area for the new playground equipment!

    City crews are in the process of clearing out old materials to make way for the new playground equipment install at Mercerdale Park, slated for this fall.

    Keeping it Green! Old wood chips from the existing playground will be recycled into mulch creating 200-250 cubic yards of mulch! This helps keep costs down and material out of the landfill. The mulch will be used across nearby public planter beds to conserve water, stimulate plant growth, and help control weeds naturally.

  • Construction Delayed until Fall

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    In mid-May, the City Council approved the Mercerdale Park Playground Renovation project. Demolition began earlier this summer, with a goal of reopening the park in early fall. Unfortunately, Playworld, the manufacturer of the playground equipment, experienced a significant fire at their plant in early May, delaying the delivery of playground pieces.

    Staff are pleased to report that the manufacturing lines have reopened and Playworld is working extended hours to catch up. Mercerdale Playground equipment is back in the production queue!

    Crews are continuing to prepare the site for eventual delivery of the new playground equipment. Current delivery ship estimates are early October.

  • City Council Approves Playground Project

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    At its May 18 meeting, the City Council approved the Mercerdale Park Playground Renovation project. The City Council amended the budget and formally accepted the generous donation of $20,000 from the Mercer Island Preschool Association (MIPA) for the improvements. The City again appreciates the assistance of the Parks and Recreation Commission in evaluating multiple design alternatives. To view the meeting presentation, click here.

    City crews have begun site prep work by decommissioning most of the existing structures and removing them from the Park, except for the swings. After finalizing the design and ordering equipment, staff anticipate the new playground reopening in late summer 2021; the well-known train-themed play structure will be replaced sometime this fall.

Page last updated: 13 May 2022, 02:01 PM