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Taylor Creek is located near the south end of Lake Washington in southeast Seattle. The creek originates in unincorporated King County and passes through a natural area known as Dead Horse Canyon within Lakeridge Park. It then passes through residential yards and a culvert under Rainier Avenue S. before discharging into Lake Washington. The culvert under Rainier Avenue S., along with other barriers in the creek, prevents fish passage to good quality habitat in Dead Horse Canyon.
Between 2010 and 2012, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) began developing stream improvement concepts and discussing those concepts with the community. Questions were raised during this early engagement about how the site should be used in the future and the potential for negative neighborhood impacts if the site became publicly accessible. In 2013, SPU, in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks), undertook a collaborative process with the community to evaluate future public access at the site.
In January 2015, SPU approved public access to the Lower Taylor Creek site; and in 2016 SPU purchased two additional properties adjacent to the creek alignment. The purchase of these properties will provide more flexibility for the design process, enable better creek alignments and will result in a final design that has less impact to neighbors.
The Taylor Creek Culvert Replacement is primarily being funded by SPU drainage and wastewater rates. Additional funding has been made available from grants received from the King County Flood Control District’s Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program funds and the State of Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board with support from Salmon State Projects, Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration.