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Lower Coal Creek Flood Reduction

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The King County Flood Control District has provided funding to the city to address flooding issues in the Newport Shores neighborhood. The city is working with an engineering team and in conjunction with Newport Shores residents to develop a project with two components to reduce flood risks. The first component will reduce Lower Coal Creek flooding and the second will reduce street flooding.

Lower Coal Creek Flood Reduction Project Map
Map of Project Area

Flooding in Newport Shores   An existing Lower Coal Creek culvert

Status Updates

The city and the engineering team have done a substantial amount of field work and preliminary design to move forward on the Lower Coal Creek flood reduction project. The following information provides additional details about this work.

Schedule of Activities
The Lower Coal Creek flood reduction effort will follow this schedule:

  • 2015 – 2017: Design, easement and permit acquisition.
  • 2017 (or 2018) – 2019: Construction of new bridges (culverts) and stormwater outfalls.

Reduce Creek Flooding

To reduce the risk of flooding from Lower Coal Creek and to better allow for fish passage, the City will construct new bridges at the five creek crossings in the neighborhood. These new bridges will better allow the passage of creek water, reduce the chance of debris getting clogged, and eliminate the partial fish passage barrier that currently exists at Cascade Key.

Status Update (October 2016): The engineering team has completed the preliminary design for these bridges and submitted the “30% design document” to the City of Bellevue. The preliminary design proposes substantial bridge structures on deep foundations to compensate for the weak soils in the area, and to also meet current earthquake design standards. Residents may have noticed field crews doing additional work in late summer 2016. These crews were collecting data on soil properties to support the design of the deep foundations. The design of the bridges will also incorporate a portion of an open rail traffic barrier to improve the visibility of the creek from the road and sidewalk, as requested by residents during the Project Open House in May 2016.

The design team will be working on a detailed design for the Upper Skagit Key Bridge throughout the fall and early winter. The City intends to have the project out to bid in early 2017 with the goal of constructing the Upper Skagit Key Bridge in summer 2017.  Upper Skagit Key will need to be closed for approximately three months during the summer for construction. The City expects that the closure may last from roughly mid-June 2017 through mid-September 2017.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of reviewing federal permits that are expected to be issued by early next year. The design team will submit several permits to the City of Bellevue over the next few months starting with the Critical Areas Permit in late October, which will start the environmental review process for the entire project in accordance with the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA). The City anticipates that there will be a public comment period on the project in early December 2016 and an environmental decision in late January 2017. The Newport Yacht Club, on behalf of the City, will reach out to Newport Shores residents regarding this comment period so that residents can provide feedback on the project.

 [SG1]Michael – Debbie or myself will send you the document to upload by the end of October.

Reduce Street Flooding

To help reduce flooding in the streets during heavy rains, the City is planning on rerouting stormwater away from Lower Coal Creek to Lake Washington. To do this, the City will need to construct new stormwater outfalls into Lake Washington.

Status Update (October 2016): The City has paused work on the outfalls while it has focused on the Upper Skagit Key Bridge contracting details. The City anticipates that the work to acquire outfall easements could begin again in late October 2016.

Public OutreachLower Coal Creek Open House Participants

The City is committed to working with residents throughout the design, permitting and construction phases of this effort.

Status Update (June 2016): On May 11, 2016, nearly 40 Newport Shores residents attended an Open House to learn about, provide feedback on, and ask questions about the Lower Coal Creek Flood Hazard Reduction Project and other infrastructure efforts in Newport Shores (see photos). Thank you to the Newport Yacht Club for hosting the event and to everyone who attended this public forum and shared their thoughts (see this map of residents who participated).

During this Open House, City of Bellevue Utilities staff and engineers were stationed at five different tables that focused on: (1) New Bridges; (2) New Stormwater Outfalls; (3) Information for Streamside Property Owners; (4) Sewer System Testing; and (5) Traffic Safety at the Entrance to Newport Shores. Residents were able to provide suggestions and input regarding these projects so that the engineering teams can take them into consideration as they continue to develop the bridge designs. Below are the posters and other materials from this Open House:

Other public outreach is being planned for future stages of the project. This will include updates to this webpage, updates in the Newport Yacht Club Association’s newsletter, as well as future community forums and potential field trips.

Previous Outreach: The City of Bellevue hosted a booth at the City’s Spring Forward Expo in April 2013 and had meetings with the Newport Yacht Club Association in October 2013 and March 2014. The City of Bellevue hosted a Public Forum on May 12, 2014 at the Newport Yacht Club to hear the public’s thoughts on potential alternatives.

Project History

Below is an overview of the history of the Lower Coal Creek flood reduction effort.

Fall/Winter 2013 Engineering study of existing conditions; initial contact with public.
Winter/Spring 2014 Alternatives analysis, public involvement.
2014 Select preferred alternative(s); finalize pre-design and details of preferred alternative(s);   community meeting to discuss preferred alternatives.
Winter/Spring 2015 Selection of engineering design team.
Summer/Fall 2015 Contracting and field investigations.
Fall 2015 / Spring 2016 Preliminary bridge design.
Summer 2016 Submittal of Army Corps of Engineers permit and completion of the draft “30% plan and design” document.
Fall 2016 Finalization of the “30% plan and design” document.

How can I stay informed?
This webpage offers the most up-to-date information on the project. Additional materials and project information will be posted on the site as the project develops. For more information, please contact:

Debbie Harris
Project Manager

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated June 2016)
Contact Information

P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Kit Paulsen
Phone: 425-452-4861
E-mail: KPaulsen@bellevuewa.gov

Customer Assistance

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