Looking south along the Lower Russell Road levee on the Green River during a 2006 high-water event. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Looking south along the Lower Russell Road levee on the Green River during a 2006 high-water event. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Work to start in July on $52 million Green River levee project in Kent

Open house set for June 25 at Kent library

Construction will start in July in Kent on the Lower Russell Levee Setback, a massive $52.8 million project to control flooding and provide better fish habitat along the Green River.

The King County Flood Control District will have an open house and presentation about the project from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, at the Kent Regional Library large conference room, 212 Second Ave. N.

The 1.4-mile levee project is along the right (east) bank of the Green River between South 212th Street and Veterans Drive/South 228th Street.

“This levee improvement project will replace an old levee and revetment that do not meet current engineering design standards,” according to the Flood Control District website. “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 Lower Russell Levee Setback project is part of a larger overall flood management strategy by the Flood District for the lower Green River.

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. Phase 2 will include the remainder of the project, including the levee, habitat restoration and relocation of the city of Kent’s Van Doren’s Landing Park. The phased construction approach is necessary due to delays in acquiring U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits, according to the Flood District.

During Phase 1 construction (anticipated July 2019 through April 2020), Van Doren’s Park, trails and Russell Road will remain open to the public. The park, trails and Russell Road will be closed starting in 2020 for the remaining two-plus years of work with completion scheduled for 2023.

The King County Flood Control District will cover $47 million of the $52 million cost through its property tax measure (10 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation); the city will pay $1 million; and the remainder will come from grants, including $4.9 million from Floodplains by Design (a public-private partnership).

The project includes relocating and reconstructing the city’s 10-acre Van Doren’s Landing Park; installing 1,000 feet of flood wall; moving 400,000 yards of material; relocating 30 KOA campground sites; and creating a fish habitat. The county and city already moved the historic Dvorak Barn from the construction area to the city of Kent’s Green River Natural Resources Area.

An overview of the $52 million Lower Russell Setback Levee project along the Green River in Kent. Work will start in July and be completed in 2023. COURTESY GRAPHIC, King County Flood District

An overview of the $52 million Lower Russell Setback Levee project along the Green River in Kent. Work will start in July and be completed in 2023. COURTESY GRAPHIC, King County Flood District

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