On Thursday, Aug. 22, leaders from the King County Flood Control District, King County, and the City of Kent joined together to break ground on construction for the Lower Russell Levee Setback project along the Green River in Kent.

This project will provide 500-year flood protection and benefit the Green River ecosystem.

“The Levee Setback project is an essential piece of our flood management strategy for the Green River,” said King County Flood Control District Chair Reagan Dunn. “Our economy, environment, and residents will be safer with the improved flood management and habitat creation that we have worked so hard to deliver.”

“This project is a great example of the tremendous work the Flood Control District is doing to provide habitat restoration for salmon on the Green River,” said King County Flood Control District Vice Chair Dave Upthegrove.

“The Lower Russell Levee Setback is a great example of local governments working together to improve safety for those who live and work in South King County,” said King County Flood Control District Supervisor Pete von Reichbauer. This project will provide environmental and recreational benefits for decades to come.”

“We are thrilled and excited about beginning construction of this first phase of the Lower Russell Levee project, once fully completed, the project will include flood protection through construction of the floodwall and earthen levee, habitat restoration through large salmon habitat back channels with native plantings and large wood structures along the river, recreation and open space through a relocated Van Doren’s Landing Park and a separated trail for pedestrians and cyclists, and flood protection of the region’s economy for the industrial, manufacturing and commercial areas of the Kent Valley,” said Kent Mayor Dana Ralph.

The current levee system in the Lower Green River Valley is outdated and does not meet current design standards. The Levee Setback project will replace and relocate 1.4 miles of the levee further from the river, providing better flood capacity and reduce long-term maintenance costs.

The setback will also provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife, including shallow, slow water habitat for salmon species listed on the Endangered Species Act. Additionally, the project will enhance and create recreational opportunities including parks, trails, and open spaces for the public to enjoy. The project is located in the City of Kent along the east bank of the Green River between South 212th Street and Veterans Drive/South 228th Street.

Pictured L to R: State Senator Karen Keiser, Former Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke, Kent City Councilmember Toni Troutner, Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, King County Flood Control District Executive Director Michelle Clark, King County FCD Chair Reagan Dunn, King County FCD Vice Chair Dave Upthegrove, State Representative Debra Entenman, Covington City Councilmember Marlla Mhoon, and Kent City Councilmember Brenda Fincher.

Some additional photos courtesy Kent Parks:

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...