The Kent City Council approved a $5.9 million bid for improvements to the Upper Mill Creek Dam to increase flood storage and add a fish ladder. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

The Kent City Council approved a $5.9 million bid for improvements to the Upper Mill Creek Dam to increase flood storage and add a fish ladder. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

City of Kent to improve Upper Mill Creek Dam to reduce flooding

Project also to help restore salmon populations

A $5.9 million city of Kent project to improve the Upper Mill Creek Dam will help reduce flooding and restore salmon populations.

The City Council unanimously approved a low bid on Aug. 7 by Aberdeen-based Quigg Bros. Inc., to raise the height of the dam by about 5 feet along the east side of 104th Avenue Southeast near Southeast 267th Avenue, according to city documents. Crews will add a reinforced concrete wall to the top of the dam to increase flood storage by about 50 percent and install a fish ladder.

“It’s one of a multitude of projects to help solve the flooding downstream in Mill Creek which floods 76th Avenue and Woodford Avenue,” said City Public Works Director Tim LaPorte to the council. “We will be raising the dam, installing a fish ladder and doing a lot of concrete work.”

Other projects by the city include dredging Mill Creek in 2020 to reduce flooding in the Kent Valley – an estimated $10 million project.

Crews will begin work on the dam with utility relocation this year, but most of the construction will be done next summer.

“As the dam is an active stormwater flood control facility, there is a narrow seasonal construction window that we have available to perform the work,” said City Engineer Steve Lincoln, who is overseeing the project, in an email. “Therefore, we expect construction to take up to two years, with completion in 2020. However, the dam will be functional at current capacity during the wet season.”

Kent received six bids for the project, with the highest coming in at $7.8 million. City officials estimated the cost at $5.3 million.

“The engineering estimate didn’t account for inflation,” LaPorte said.

The city will pay for the project from its drainage fund. Residential rates are $12.51 per month for the storm drainage fee. Commercial businesses and multi-family complexes pay a fee based on impervious surfaces.

Crews built the dam in 1974. The dam was upgraded to its current structure in 1989, Lincoln said. The improvements will increase flood storage to about 150 acre feet or 49 million gallons.

“The dam provides flood risk reduction in the area spanning from Earthworks Park to Central Avenue and from Titus Street to James Street,” Lincoln said. “This area includes the Kent Senior Activity Center, Mill Creek Middle School and a number of homes and businesses along Mill Creek.”

Fish passage is included in the project to comply with environmental permitting requirements from the state Department of Fisheries, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and from consultation with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Lincoln said. The original dam and flow diversion structure does not have a formal fish ladder facility.

“The new fish ladder included with this project will increase opportunities for fish habitat and passage to other reaches of Upper Mill Creek,” Lincoln said.

When the work is done in a couple of years, residents should see a difference.

“We are really looking forward to completing this project,” Lincoln said. “It will reduce flooding along Mill Creek in concert with the Mill Creek Reestablishment Project (dredging, diversion of the creek) that is currently in design. The dam improvements will also aid in the ongoing regional efforts of restoring Puget Sound’s salmon populations.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Kent Police arrest man, 18, in fatal shooting of 13-year-old boy

Judge finds probable cause to hold the Kent man for murder, attempted murder and robbery

The Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle that handles juvenile detention. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
High-profile juvenile crimes continue to rock Kent this summer

Six incidents in five weeks include fatal shooting, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault

King County Correctional Facility in Seattle. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
Kent man charged with attempted kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man allegedly try to take girl from apartment complex parking lot

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Kent man receives 8-year sentence in 2021 fatal shooting

Pleaded guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter in shooting at apartment complex over parking dispute

Courtesy Photo, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Judge finds probable cause to hold Kent man for kidnapping girl

Man, 40, reportedly grabbed 6-year-old girl in East Hill apartment complex parking lot

t
King County residential property values rise 12.4% in SE Kent

King County Assessor John Wilson begins to release 2024 numbers

t
Three 11-year-old girls in Kent help stop kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man reportedly grabbed girl in apartment complex parking lot on East Hill

t
Kent Police seek male teen driver in fatal hit-and-run on East Hill | Update

Teen reportedly driving stolen vehicle and fleeing police during Saturday, July 13 incident; victim identified

t
13-year-old boy fatally shot in Kent on East Hill near Turnkey Park | Update

Boy found shot near apartment complex Tuesday night, July 16 identified by medical examiner

t
Kent School Board votes 3-1 to send levy to voters in November

Capital projects and technology levy reduced from $192 million to $97 million after previous failures

t
Kiwanis clubs to place painted rocks at downtown Kent parks

Purpose is to ‘spread joy and positivity’