Lower Russell Levee Setback
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The Lower Russell Levee Setback project is part of a larger overall flood management strategy for the lower Green River. The project is located in the City of Kent along the right (east) bank of the Green River between South 212th Street and Veterans Drive/South 228th Street.
This 1.4-mile-long levee improvement project will replace an old levee and revetment that do not meet current engineering design standards. The new levee will be set back from the Green River where feasible and better protect residential and commercial development behind the levee, while also improving riparian and aquatic habitat along the Green River for fish and wildlife. The project will integrate existing road, trail and park amenities and enhance existing recreational opportunities.
The entire project is shown on Figure 1 below. Click to open the figure in Adobe Acrobat (3.4 MB, PDF).
FIGURE 1: Project Overview
The Lower Green River Valley supports regionally significant economic assets that contribute over one eighth of Washington’s gross domestic product. The levee system in the Lower Green River Valley is old, outdated, and was originally constructed to protect agricultural lands rather than the regional economic infrastructure, businesses and residential land uses of today.
The Lower Russell Levee Setback Project is an early action project of the Green River System Wide Improvement Framework (SWIF). In setting the levee back from the river, this project supports the goals of the SWIF by providing greater flood storage and conveyance capacity, increasing shallow, slow water habitat for ESA-listed species, enhancing recreational opportunities, and reducing long-term maintenance costs.
- Improve flood protection by replacing and upgrading 1.4 miles of existing levee and revetment with a new flood containment system that meets current engineering design standards and is built to a 0.2 percent annual chance (a.k.a., a 500-year) flood event.
- Restore aquatic and riparian habitat for fish and wildlife, including species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The project is identified as a priority project in the 2005 WRIA 9 Salmon Habitat Plan.
- Complement existing parks, trails, and open space, thereby creating a unified landscape that offers opportunities for active and passive recreation while at the same time restoring habitat and providing flood protection.
- Reduce long-term maintenance costs.
PICTURE 2: A view of the Green River looking south at Van Doren's Park, Lower Russell Road and the levee in Nov. 2006 during a Phase 3 flood event (10,000 cfs)
In order to begin construction in 2019, the project will be constructed in phases. Each phase will be bid separately. Phase 1 will include most of the floodwall and water main work (see figure below). Phase 2 will include the remainder of the project, including the levee, habitat restoration, and park relocation (see Figure 1 above). This phased construction approach is necessary due to delays in acquiring U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits.
During Phase 1 construction (anticipated July 2019 through April 2020), Van Doren's Park, trails, and Russell Road will remain open to the public. Phase construction elements are shown in Figure 2 below. Click to open in Adobe Acrobat. FIGURE 2: Construction Elements Phase 1
Project schedule - Updated April 2019
The project schedule is shown in the graphic below. There will be two phases of construction. Phase 1 will include most of the floodwall and water main work. Phase 2 will construct the remainder of the project.
King County and the City of Kent will hold additional public meetings during the design phase of the project and prior to construction. Upcoming meetings will be noted on this web page when scheduled. Sign up for announcements to be made aware of the next scheduled meeting and other information. Residents and property owners within close proximity of the project site will also be notified of future meetings by mailings. Previous public meeting dates and information presented are as follows:
- Nov. 19, 2014 - The first public meeting for this project presented initial project information. Following is the presentation and handout about alternative alignments. (Acrobat help).
- Lower Russell Levee Setback Project presentation (PDF, 4 MB)
- Lower Russell Levee Setback Project handout on alternative alignments (PDF, 3.5 MB)
- June 8, 2015 - Approximately 40 residents attended the second public meeting in the City of Kent to discuss the King County Flood District’s Lower Russell Levee Setback Project. At this meeting, a preferred alternative was presented that included flood protection, habitat restoration, and recreation improvements. A decision on the preferred project alignment is expected this summer and project construction is anticipated in 2017.
- Lower Russell Levee Setback Project June 8 meeting materials: presentation and fact sheet (PDF, 14 MB)
- Oct. 25, 2017 - The third public meeting presented the project at 60 percent design. At this meeting, a number of stations focusing on different project elements were set-up so that attendees could learn more about the project and have the opportunity to ask questions. Approximately 30 residents attended.
- Lower Russell Levee Setback Project presentation, October 2017 (PDF, 1.4MB)
Project partners and funding
This project is funded by the King County Flood Control District and Washington state grant funding. The estimated project cost is $52.8 million. The King County River and Floodplain Management Section, as service provider to the King County Flood Control District, is managing this project in partnership with the City of Kent.
- Determination of Non-Significance, Oct. 25, 2017 (PDF, 167KB)
- SEPA Checklist, Oct. 24, 2017 (PDF,1.5MB)
Project design documents
- 100% Phase 1 Construction Drawings, April 2019 (PDF, 75.9MB)
- 100% Design Permit Drawings, February 2019 (PDF, 173MB)
- Draft Alternatives Analysis Summary Report, March 2015 (PDF, 7.8MB)
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