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 reached its 60 percent design milestone earlier this year. As part of this work, our engineering team looked at the current creek and if we could provide additional, more natural opportunities to manage sediment up in Deadhorse Canyon. We've decided to add more large woody materials to the canyon to improve the habitat condition of the stream and to better trap, and moderate sediment from landslides or storms. The wood will also help protect downstream project areas from getting too much sediment too quickly.

Our designers will spend the next several months looking at the different types of woody materials and where to strategically place them along the creek alignment to control sediment, naturally maintain the curves of the creek (reducing erosion), and create habitat (a natural home or environment for an animal or plant).

These natural methods of sediment control are better for salmon habitat and would require significantly less long-term maintenance than a built facility. After the design of the woody materials is complete, we may be able to reduce the size of the sediment pond or replace it with a natural floodplain in the same footprint.

Over the next few months, you may see survey work occurring in Deadhorse Canyon or along the creek to aid in the woody material design.

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.