At a Nov. 12 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Redmond City Council was updated on the Smith Woods Pond and Stream Rehabilitation preferred design alternative.
The city purchased the Smith Woods property — 176th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street — in northeast Redmond in 2000 and then secured the entire property in 2011. The property includes the Monticello Creek, where the stream flows into a small pond on the property. The pond appears to have been built by the former owner.
Concerns with the stability of the berm surrounding the pond led the city to complete an emergency project in December 2015. The emergency project included cutting a temporary channel to reduce pond volume to eliminate the immediate risk of berm failure. The work was done under an emergency Hydraulic Permit Approval (HPA) from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The city is required to rehabilitate the pond and stream to create a fish-passable channel by 2021.
The city contracted Osborn Consulting in March 2019 to assist staff in developing alternatives for the stream and pond that would improve fish passage and serve as an amenity for the future city park on the Smith Wood property as well. The consultant has collected data on the project site and produced information to develop alternatives, including wetland, hydrology, geotechnical and cultural resource reports.
The design team met with the Washington Fish Wildlife (WDFW) on site and consulted with the Muckleshoot tribe via email to assess alternatives. Staff from the public works and parks department reviewed the report and arrived at two alternative concept designs.
Emily Flanagan, senior surface water engineer, presented the council the two options: one that retains the pond and stream together and one that retains the stream only and converts the pond to wetlands.
After evaluation of different criteria, Flanagan said the staff and design consultant set on option one, which retains the pond and stream as preferred. Flanagan said the first option will restore the stream channel from the pond outlet down to Northeast 122nd Street to allow fish passage through the creek. Option one also maintains the pond, meets environmental permitting requirements and fits within current funding.
City staff brought the project to council in February and March of 2019 and there was a strong interest in maintaining the pond feature. The council was provided with updated information since 2015. The projects and trails commission also had several updates since 2017.
Flanagan said they would move forward with 30 percent of the design, unless the councilmembers had concerns.
Councilmember Hank Margeson asked about the detailed cost estimate of the design and if the council would receive those details before the final design documents in 2021.
Rob Crittenden, project manager, said they will most likely have the 30 percent design completed by February or March of next year and possibly have the cost estimate by then. Crittenden said there will be a need for a supplemental agreement with the consultant to move forward with final design first, and that would be the opportunity to update the council.
Councilmember David Carson mentioned it was a good idea to keep the pond but asked if there were future concerns.
Flanagan said geo-techs will be helping with the design and water level will be lower than the original pond.
“With the current design, there’s not a lot of long-term maintenance or concerns about keeping it safe,” she said.
Crittenden added that they are also looking into additional reinforcements of the berm.
Councilmember Tanika Padhye asked if the department had performed outreach in the Monticello neighborhood.
Flanagan said they did not reached out to Monticello residents, as their impression was that preserving the pond was a popular portion of the park.
A detailed estimate will be prepared following completion of the 30 percent plans. WDFW permits require the project to be completed by 2021.
The project budget is $1,113,000 ($735,000 stormwater, $378,000 parks). The project has been in both Stormwater and Parks six-years capital improvement projects (CIP) since 2017. It was approved in the 2019-20 budget.
For more information about Smith Woods Pond, go to www.redmond.gov.