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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).Lower_Russell_PROJECT_Overview_767x

 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 The levee system in the Lower Green River Valley is old, outdated, and was originally constructed to protect agricultural lands rather than the regional economic infrastructure, businesses and residential land uses of today.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.

Project goals

  • 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.    

  An image 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)PICTURE 1: 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).

Construction

The project is being constructed in phases in order to begin construction in 2019 and accommodate delays in acquiring permits for Phase 2. Each phase was bid separately. Phase 1 included most of the floodwall and water main work (see figure 2 below). Phase 2 covers the remainder of the project, including the levee, habitat restoration, and park relocation (see Figure above). Planting outside Van Doren's park will be done under another contract coincident with Phase 2 construction.

Phase 2 construction will require closing to the public both Van Doren’s Park and Russell Road north of the Russell Woods trailhead entrance. Pedestrian and bicycle use of Russell Road north to the pedestrian bridge crossing will continue as construction safety conditions permit. When the project is complete in 2022 the new park, habitat features and trails will be opened to the public.

 lr-fig-2-phase-1-overview_767x   FIGURE 2: Construction Elements Phase 1  

Project schedule - Updated June, 2020

The project schedule is shown in the graphic below. There will be two phases of construction. Phase 1 included most of the floodwall and water main work. Phase 2 covers the remainder of the project. 

lower-russell-project-chart_767x

Public meetings

Sign up for announcements to be made aware of construction updates. No further public meetings are anticipated due to Covid-19 restrictions and because construction work has begun. Previous public meeting dates and information presented are as follows (For help viewing PDF files, see Acrobat Help page.):

  • June 25, 2019 - ​The fourth public meeting and open house was held in advance of Phase 1 construction of the floodwall and water main. Twenty-seven people attended the meeting.       
  • October 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.
  • 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.

Project partners and funding

This project is funded by the King County Flood Control District and Washington state grant funding. 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. The estimated project cost is just under $57 million. Grant funding included the following:

  • Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) - Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Large Capital Projects grant administered by the Washington Recreation and Conservation office: approximately $4.8 million (final amount to be determined).
  • Cooperative Watershed Management (CWM) grant by the King County Flood Control District: $300,000.
  • Floodplains by Design grant managed by the Washington Department of Ecology: $4.9 million.

Supporting documents

(For help viewing PDF files, see Acrobat Help page.)

Videos

SEPA documents 

Project design documents

Additional resources