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City of Renton to remove sediment, increase flood prevention on the Cedar River

June 1, 2016

City of Renton contacts:
Preeti Shridhar,
Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569
Gregg Zimmerman, P.E., Public Works Administrator, 425-430-7311

Renton, WA: The City of Renton will undertake a maintenance dredging project on the Cedar River to prevent flooding of the surrounding community. The King County Flood Control District is funding over $13 million for the overall project and is providing approximately $7.5 million to fund the project’s construction.

Approximately 120,000 cubic yards of gravel and sediments will be removed from a 1.25 mile stretch of the river from its mouth to the Williams Street Bridge. Additionally, unstable banks will be repaired, outfall from storm pipes will be improved, vegetation will be replanted and invasive vegetation adjacent to the levee and floodwall will be removed. The result will be a reduced risk of flooding to private, public and commercial properties.

“There is a significant amount of logs and other woody debris gathering along the length of the Cedar River, creates a potential problem to bridges and other infrastructure if we experience a major flood, which we know is a real possibility,” said Mayor Denis Law. “This project is one way that the city is proactively working to help protect property and businesses located along the river in Renton.”

City officials worked closely with King County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and State Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Ecology and Natural Resources to secure funding and necessary permits.

“This project is one example of the proactive role the King County Flood Control District is taking to protect public safety, the regional economy, and critical infrastructure,” said King County Councilmember Regan Dunn, who represents the City of Renton on the County Council and serves as Chair of the Flood Control District. “I commend Mayor Law and the entire City Council for their collaborative work to limit, and hopefully prevent potential losses should there be a significant flood.”

The contractor, Gary Merlino Construction Company, will start mobilizing equipment into the work area during the week of June 6. Dredging activities can start no earlier than June 15 and must end by August 31. The project is anticipated to end the first week of November.

During dredging, the affected portion of the Cedar River will be closed to recreational activities, and the boat ramp will see temporary closures. There will be planting and bank stabilization work in the Cedar River Trail Park, but the city’s Public Works Department anticipates keeping the park open. When closures and detours are needed, information will be posted in advance.

“The Cedar river attracts thousands of hikers and families every year,” said King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. “Removing built up sediment will make the Cedar river safer for everyone.”