The city of Kent will close Frager Road South between West Meeker Street and the West Valley Highway from June 24 through July 26 for relocation of 2,000 feet of roadway along the Downey Farmstead property as part of a large-scale salmon habitat and increased flood storage project along the Green River.
It is a 24/7 closure although local access will be allowed. Drivers will be able to access Frager Road for the Old Fishing Hole Park off of West Meeker Street and the Al Duris Strawberry Farm from the West Valley Highway, according to city Public Works staff.
Construction started last year on the $7 million project. The Downey Farmstead, formerly a tree nursery, is between the Green River and State Route 516, aka Kent Des Moines Road. The innovative project is largely grant funded, except for an in-kind match of $345,000 provided by the city. The city’s funding partners include the Puget Sound Partnership, the King County Flood Control District, the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and King County.
The 22-acre site will be redeveloped into a network of side channels of various depths to enhance habitat for endangered Chinook salmon and other salmon species. This will allow the salmon to take shelter during high flow events in the river and provide rearing habitat during the summer. The project will also lower peak flood levels up to 6 inches during a 100-year flood event, giving relief to nearby levees, homes and businesses.
In the first phase, crews cleared and graded the project site and removed soil. Later phases of the project include creation of a series of side channels for the Green River with the planting of 30,000 native plant species. Public Works staff estimated a completion date of 2021.