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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 bridge (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: Final design and permit acquisition.
  • 2017 (or 2018) – 2019: Construction of new bridges (culverts) and stormwater outfalls.

Current Phase
The flood reduction project is now in its second phase. As the diagram below shows, the project is currently being designed and permitted.

Lower Coal Creek Right of Entry MapReduce 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 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. The bridge design effort is currently in the preliminary phase, and many factors are being taken into account. There are many new federal, state, and local safety and design standards that have come into effect since the original bridges were constructed, which may affect the project footprint. For instance, these standards may require:

Possibly raising the road elevation to provide more assurance that flood flows can pass unimpeded under the new bridges
A wider bridge opening across the channel (about 24 feet) to comply with current fish passage design standards
Wider sidewalks across the bridges, improved safety railings, and pavement striping

Other design challenges include structurally weak soils under the bridges, which complicate the design of the bridge foundations. The engineering team is working to address all of the safety and regulatory requirements while still designing the bridges to be compatible with the neighborhood.

These factors have lengthened the design and permitting schedules for these bridges, and may affect the future construction schedule.

The map at the left shows the properties that will be affected by the construction of these five bridges. The green indicates where temporary Right of Entry (ROE) agreements have been signed to allow technical specialists access to private property to conduct field investigations. The red indicates where these temporary Right of Entry agreements have been requested but not yet received.

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. In January, a group of technical specialists with expertise in storm drain design, soils, construction, landscape architecture, and biology evaluated potential sites for these new outfalls. Thank you to all the residents who allowed these professionals on their properties to conduct evaluations. Based on the information gathered during these evaluations, the engineering team is completing a feasibility analysis to assess ways of potentially connecting the existing drainage system to these proposed outfalls.

Public Outreach

Current Outreach: The city is committed to working with residents throughout the design, permitting and construction phases of this effort. As such, in the spring of 2016, the city is planning on having in-person conversations with individual homeowners whose properties might be affected by the construction of the outfalls and first bridges. The city is also organizing a public open house on May 11, 2016 from 4 pm - 6:30 pm at the Newport Yacht Club (upstairs meeting room) to provide information and answer questions about both the bridge construction effort, as well as the outfalls construction effort. During this open house, Newport Shores residents will be able to informally talk with city staff and engineers from the city’s consulting team to learn about these projects and provide feedback. Additional 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.

Past 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 also hosted a Public Forum on May 12, 2014 at the Newport Yacht Club to hear the public’s thoughts on potential alternatives.

Other Lower Coal Creek Efforts

Residents who want to receive notifications about severe weather or other emergencies should subscribe to a new Regional Public Information and Notification (RPIN) system set up by King County. The system can send you emails, voicemails, and/or text messages during an actual emergency. If you have questions about the system, please contact Cory James, Team Supervisor, at 425-577-5580 or cjames@norcom.org.

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 / Winter 2016 Preliminary bridge design.

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:

Bruce Jensen
Utilities Engineering Project Manager

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated November 2015)
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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