Dowtown Redmond

Bear Creek Rehabilitation

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 will be relocated and 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 project has been successfully completed and is to be a model in many ways for the remaining work to be addressed by this project.

Approximately 1996, the City began to work with US Army Corps of Engineers 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 Corp would provide 75 percent of the funding for eligible costs, the overall quality of the Corp 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.

Project Description
The Bear Creek Rehabilitation project is located between SR 520 and Bear Creek Parkway, East of the Sammamish River and North of the current Bear Creek Channel in Redmond.

The Initial phase of work involves rough grading of the future relocated channel. Preliminary grading for the project will facilitate the relocation of the channel in a phased approach to construction This initial construction work represents the first of a three phase process to relocate the creek over the next three summer construction seasons. The phased approach to the channel construction will reduce the risk of environmental damage during the channel construction and relocation in an environmentally sensitive area.


Archeology for the Curious

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