Taylor Creek Culvert Replacement

What & Why

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) purchased property at the lower reaches of Taylor Creek, located near the south end of Lake Washington in southeast Seattle. This provided an opportunity for SPU to increase the quality and amount of Taylor Creek and Lake Washington shoreline habitat, particularly for threatened juvenile Chinook salmon.

What’s happening now?

The project has been progressing in design, and we expect to reach 60% design this spring. The latest iteration of the design includes a staircase down to the natural area overlook and a pedestrian creek crossing. These features will improve pedestrian mobility through the site and provide for some unique educational opportunities.

We've also been working on applying for required permits from our governing agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington Department of Ecology and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Lastly, in fall 2018, Brooklyn artist Olalekan Jeyfious was selected by the Office of Arts & Culture to create wayfinding artwork for the site. Olalekan has visited the site a few times and recently met with nearly 60 students in southeast Seattle to get ideas for his designs.

In the first quarter of 2019, we anticipate completing the next iteration of the natural area design and sharing it with neighbors and the community. By January, we should have a better idea of where the overlook and educational areas will be, what the sedimentation facility looks like and how pedestrians will travel from Deadhorse Canyon to the lakeshore.

We are also working on completing our Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Checklist for the project. Earlier this year, we added scope to the project to install micropiles in a portion of the steep slope of Deadhorse Canyon along the pedestrian trail. The micropiles will help stabilize the trail and the associated sewer line that runs beneath it. This work was originally part of the Lakeridge Sewer Line Assessment project. To use rate payer dollars most efficiently, we have combined the two efforts. This work will be reflected in the checklist.

Project goals and benefits

The Taylor Creek Culvert Replacement project will:

  • Improve the stream channel and surrounding habitat.
  • Improve fish passage.
  • Replace the culvert under Rainier Avenue S.
  • Address storm-related flooding and sediment deposition at the mouth of the creek to the extent feasible.
  • Provide public access to the new natural area north of Rainier Avenue S once construction is complete.
  • Construct corridor safety improvements in coordination with the Seattle Department of Transportation.