Residents and Foothills Trail users can learn about the next phase of construction on a Puyallup River side channel near Orting at an informal community meeting on May 31.
Pierce County will resume work on a side channel that will reconnect the historic Puyallup River floodplain, which will reduce flooding and provide salmon habitat. Construction is anticipated to start in July.
Pierce County staff will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 31 at the McMillin Trailhead parking lot to share project information and answer questions. The parking lot is located along the Foothills Trail at approximately 140th Street East and State Route 162, just south of the bridge over the Puyallup River.
“While we build this side channel, soon to be the longest on the Puyallup River, we want to be good neighbors and minimize construction impacts to residents, State Route 162 users, and trail users,” said Harold Smelt, Public Works and Utilities surface water manager. “Side channels provide additional flood storage as well as rearing and spawning habitat for salmon.”
Construction on the side channel on the west side of the Puyallup River began in the summer of 2013. Crews built a 2,000-foot long section. This summer, the contractor will build a 1,200-foot section of the side channel, install engineered log jams, and construct a perimeter access road. The final phase of the project is anticipated to be completed next year, when all phases of the side channel will connect together and to the Puyallup River.
Once the work resumes, construction trucks will access the project site on South Fork Road, which crosses the Foothills Trail just north of the McMillin Trailhead and the State Route 162 bridge over the Puyallup River. Flaggers will direct truck traffic and trail users. Trail users may be stopped for short periods of time while trucks cross over the trail.
This phase of construction is funded with a $1,044,000 Floodplain by Design grant from the Department of Ecology and $49,768 in Real Estate Excise Tax funding from Pierce County.
Watch a one-minute project video: “Floodplain in Orting protects homes east of the Puyallup River.”
Learn more about the project at www.piercecountywa.org/southfork.
Randy Brake, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities project manager
Liz Satterthwaite, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities public information specialist