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Repair work under way on two key Green levees

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Tukwila are conducting repair work over the next few weeks on two sections of Green River levee that were damaged in the November 2006 flooding.

Contractors began construction July 31. The Green River Trail through the construction area is closed and bike riders and walkers are being diverted to local streets.

Known as site 3 and 5, both are on the west side of the Green River. Site 3 is located southwest of intersection of West Valley Highway and South 180th Street, and site 5 is southeast of the intersection of South 180th Street and Andover Park West.

The levees project billions of dollars worth of commercial and residential development in north Kent, Tukwila and south Renton.

The site 3 repair consists of laying back the existing levee and armoring the riverward slopes over the damaged segments, then planting them with Corps-approved vegetation and anchoring woody debris to base of the levee.

At site 5 crews will lay back the existing levee system by setting back the current levee and constructing a bench. A toe structure will be constructed to prevent future scour and a blanket of rock will be placed then planted with Corps-approved vegetation and woody debris will be anchored to the base of the levee. In addition, the City of Tukwila, in an effort to reduce the footprint of the levee, will install a corps-approved retaining wall on the back side of the levee.

Federal law allows the corps to assist state and local authorities in flood fight activities and cost share in the repair of flood protection structures. Local funding for this project was provided by the City of Tukwila.

The Tukwila levees are two of more than 50 levees damaged in the region during the 2006 flood event throughout the region. Levee repairs began last year in five western Washington counties including King, Pierce, Whatcom, Snohomish and Skagit. Repairs in these areas will continue through this year and into 2009.

The public also needs to be aware, for their safety, that there will be increased truck traffic within Tukwila, particularly in the area of South 180th Street.

For more information on the Corps, visit the Seattle District Web site at www.nws.usace.army.mil and select Levees in the Corps Topics box, top right hand corner.

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