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King County Flood Control District approves Green River levee agreement with Kent

The King County Flood Control District Board of Supervisors gave its unanimous support on Monday to an interlocal agreement (ILA) with the city of Kent that will expand the work being done on the Green River's Russell Road Upper levee, the series of levees that protect the Kent Valley.

“The Kent Valley is an important economic engine for our region,” said Reagan Dunn, chairman of the Flood Control District that is overseen by the Metropolitan King County Council, in a county media release. “This project is illustrative of the proactive role the Flood District is taking to protect areas across King County from flood risks.”

The resolution adopted by the board revises the ILA to re-set the project scope to cover the north and south reaches (sections) of the Russell Road Upper Levee between river miles 19.25 and 20.4 and increases the maximum budget to $3.7 million for the improvement to the reaches.

“This is an important step forward to protect jobs and the economy in the Kent Valley,” said Supervisor Dave Upthegrove, who represents the Kent Valley on the Flood District.

The Russell Road Upper levee is part of a system of levees originally built to provide flood risk reduction to farmland in the Kent Valley. These now aging levees are protecting $2.8 billion worth of urban structures and contents. A levee breach or overtopping in this location would have serious implications including threats to public safety, damage to public infrastructure, impacts on the regional economy, and damage to private structures including homes and businesses.

The district’s adopted capital budgets for the years 2013 and 2014 included funding for improvements to several reaches of the Russell Road Upper levee system.

The city of Kent will oversee levee design and construction and the district will handle inspection and maintenance. The final levee design is subject to district review.

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