Location: Between SR 520 and Bear Creek Parkway, East of the Sammamish River and North of the current Bear Creek Channel in Redmond.
Project Phase: Permitting and Construction
Estimated Timeline: Construction beginning Summner of 2013 and Completed Summer of 2015
The Bear Creek Rehabilitation project will rehabilitate the lower, channelized part of Bear Creek starting at the Sammamish River and going upstream on Bear Creek to the Bear Creek enhancement work previously completed. About 3,000 feet of Bear Creek will be completely relocated from the mostly straight, channelized “stream” to a meandering, reshaped and re-planted channel in the existing adjacent open space.
The project will establish stream buffers consistent with the City’s Critical Areas Ordinance with allowance for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) “Stage 3” widening of the SR520 freeway adjacent to Bear Creek. The existing asphalt path has been relocated as part of the first phase of the project and will be augmented with a soft-surface parallel path and “side-routes” that will allow people to walk over to the stream and to view and interact with (a much improved) Bear Creek.
The rehabilitated overbank areas will address flood conveyance issues and will provide other habitat improvements.
Rehabilitation of lower Bear Creek was identified in the Bear Creek Basin Plan, jointly completed by the City and King County in 1990. Funding was not available at that time and this work has been pursued as funding opportunities occurred.
Approximately 1996 through 1999, the City worked together with WSDOT when that agency agreed to provide funding to enhance part of Bear Creek in the vicinity of Larry’s Market. This previous project has been successfully completed and is to be a model in many ways for the remaining work to be addressed by the final two phase of the Bear Creek Rehabilitation project.
Around 1996, the City began to work with US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to undertake rehabilitation of the remaining lower Bear Creek. Unfortunately, the Corp’s rehabilitation program (designated 1135) stresses minimum stream improvements, requires an agency agreement which presented legal issues, and presented very strict and difficult real property issues. While the Corps would provide 75 percent of the funding for eligible costs, the overall quality of the Corps design and accompanying legal and property issues led to mutual agreement to terminate this joint project effort.
September 2008, the City of Redmond and WSDOT entered into an agreement to fully fund the design and construction of Bear Creek Rehabilitation in coordination with the “Stage 3” widening of the SR520 freeway adjacent to the creek.
In 2013, the City of Redmond completed the first phase of the Bear Creek Rehabilitation project. The second, and final, phase of the Bear Creek Rehabilitation project starts in spring 2014.
Archeology for the Curious
On May 18th, 2013, experts from the Washington State Department of Transportation, Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, Muckleshoot, Snoqualmie and Stillaguamish Tribes, and SWCA Environmental Consultants presented a special workshop titled Archaeology for the Curious about archaeology basics and what Redmond was like 10,000 years ago and the local history of the Bear Creek site.
The following link will direct you to videos of that presentation:
Archaeology for the Curious (located under Archived Videos, 2013 Informational Programs, dropdown menu)
Mike Haley, PE