Lake Ballinger - McAleer Creek Projects
City of Mountlake Terrace
Ballinger Park Hall Creek Improvement Project
Mountlake Terrace staff and the US Corps of Engineers are currently working on a feasibility study to improve habitat along Hall Creek in Ballinger Park.
McAleer Creek Culvert Removal Project
In late 2014, the City of Mountlake Terrace completed a culvert removal project on McAleer Creek between Lake Ballinger and Interstate 5. The project removed three undersized 60-inch culverts installed in the early 1980s at the Nile Shrine Golf Center. New full span bridges replaced the culvert crossings on the creek downstream of the road access driveway off State Route 104. A new full span concrete box culvert bridge was installed at the road access driveway that allows for full stream passage under the structure. Fish friendly gravel was placed under the bridge and streamside plants and vegetation were planted in areas disturbed by the work. These installations met Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife fish passage standards and eliminated the need for ongoing maintenance at each site while allowing for the full flow of water within the stream banks during storm events.
City of Edmonds
76th Avenue W and 212th Street SW Intersection Improvement Project The 76th Avenue W and 212th Street SW Intersection Improvement project is a grant funded roadway project that will add traffic flow, safety, pedestrian/bicycling, and stormwater utility improvements. Left and right turn lanes will be added in all directions, wider sidewalks will be installed, and traffic signals and signage will be upgraded. Bike lanes will be added on 76th Avenue W from 220th Street SW to Olympic View Drive and 212th Street SW from Bowdoin Way to 72nd Avenue W. Stormwater improvements include the installation of three water quality biofiltration vaults and one larger storage vault, adding improvements to the City’s drainage system that currently flows to Halls Creek, and then Lake Ballinger, without water quality treatment or flow reduction. The project will start construction in Spring 2017 and will be completed by Fall 2017.
Outlet Study with Northwest Hydraulics
In 2013 the City of Edmonds contracted Northwest Hydraulic Consultants to construct updated modeling of the Lake Ballinger watershed. The revised models were focused specifically on simulating lake level for the purpose of assessing its response to the lake outlet control structure. This was accomplished by updating subbasin detention in the basin, using improved land use and soils information, and through calibration to recorded stream flows on Hall and McAleer Creeks (collected by the City of Mountlake Terrace). The updated models were used to quantify the impact to flood levels of the McAleer Creek culvert replacement project and to theoretical modifications of the outlet control weir. The models can be used to assess future changes in the watershed and to revise the FEMA floodplain delineation of Lake Ballinger. View the results (PDF).
City of Lake Forest Park
McAleer Creek Bypass Retrofit (2012)
Completed in 2012, the McAleer Creek Bypass Retrofit optimizes the bypass facility that was installed by King County in 1994. The facility, as constructed in 1994, captures high-flows in McAleer Creek upstream of the Sheridan Beach floodplain, and diverts them underground in a 48-inch diameter pipe to a to location on McAleer Creek downstream of the floodplain. This facility was constructed in response to repetitive flooding of the Sheridan Beach Neighborhood. While the facility does provide some level of flood reduction benefits, it was not optimized according to the modeling in the City’s 2009 Flood Reduction Planning Study. In 2011, the City of Lake Forest Park received $250,000 from the State to optimize the facility. The McAleer Creek Bypass Retrofit project included the addition of adjustable plates to increase the flow into the bypass pipe during flood events, smoothing the intake of the bypass pipe to increase velocity of captured flows and a maintenance catwalk that allows maintenance crews to clean intake screens during flood events.
McAleer Creek Culvert Replacement - NE 178th Street (2015)
The undersized and structurally deficient culvert over McAleer Creek at NE 178th Street was replaced in 2015. The new culvert is a 21-foot wide three sided concrete box culvert that has capacity for storm events that exceed the 100-yr return interval. The bottomless culvert allows for a more natural stream channel. The project also included stream channel restoration immediately upstream and downstream of the culvert.
Lyon Creek Flood Mitigation Project (2015)
While this project is not in the Lake Ballinger/McAleer Creek basin, Lyon Creek does cause flooding on McAleer Creek when it overflows its banks near the Lake Forest Park Town Center. In fact, over 20 homes along McAleer Creek, a fire station, State Route 522 and the Lake Forest Park Town Center flood when Lyon Creek overflows into McAleer Creek. To resolve this issue the City applied for FEMA Hazard Mitigation funding along with state and county funding to replace the three private culverts and one public culvert on SR 522. This $6.94 million project was constructed in 2015. All four of the culverts are 20-foot wide four-sided box culverts with capacity for the 100-yr storm event. In addition to the culverts, over 1,100 feet of stream channel was widened and restored with large woody debris. The years following 2015 were some of the rainiest on record and have not caused flooding on Lyon or McAleer Creek. The City is working with FEMA to update the flood insurance rate map with a reduced floodplain area.
Culvert Replacements (Future)
In anticipation for higher stream flows during storm events and to restore fish passage, the City of Lake Forest Park is systematically replacing aging culverts on McAleer Creek and Lyon Creek. Culverts that are structurally deficient will be replaced first followed by culverts that cause flooding or are fish barriers, working upstream from Lake Washington. The City has over 20 culverts that it plans to replace in the next 10 years.