FOLLOWUP: Another try tomorrow to unclog Fauntleroy Creek culvert

(Photos of last week’s SPU work by Tom Trulin)

Seattle Public Utilities workers are expected to return tomorrow to 45th SW, where Fauntleroy Creek – one of our city’s few salmon-bearing streams – goes under the street in a culvert that’s currently clogged. Creek stewards have been keeping us up to date on efforts to unclog it, as the backup has led to ponding.

Here’s what SPU has to say about what’s going on:

Three weeks ago, when water started to pond upstream, SPU investigated and determined that the culvert was mostly blocked with debris. During this time, SPU has been assessing repair options and actively monitoring and evaluating the culvert and upstream conditions. As soon as (tomorrow), SPU will use a pump and bypass system to attempt to lower the water level upstream of the culvert to better assess conditions in the culvert. During this temporary work, you can expect periodic noise from the pumping equipment and slower traffic in the work area. This work would occur during daytime hours. SPU will continue to perform work at the culvert to eliminate the blockage and may change strategies depending on the culvert and weather conditions.

The culvert needs to be replaced – as we’ve previously reported – and SPU says it’s currently “in the process of developing a design,” but because “there are requirements from State and Federal agencies that must be met and reviewed during the culvert’s design process … the design will not be completed for several years, with construction anticipated to start in summer 2026.” You can see the preliminary design concept on the project website.

4 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Another try tomorrow to unclog Fauntleroy Creek culvert"

  • Ferns April 12, 2023 (12:08 am)

    Just wait till that local beaver starts making dams! That’s what I thought when I saw this unrelated story. It’s truly nice to see that beavers are in the area even though living with them requires patience and problem solving. 

  • Dave April 12, 2023 (8:30 am)

    Several years to replace a culvert – astounding!  No wonder it took SDOT 2-1/2 years for emergency repairs on the West Seattle Bridge.

  • JudyP April 12, 2023 (10:05 am)

    Once we got the city’s attention about the partial blockage at 45th, Seattle Public Utilities assigned its A team to what has proven to be a difficult project.  Enough water is getting through to keep critters downstream healthy, including the hundreds of “home hatch” from last fall’s spawning.  The crew has also been attentive to fish in Lake Fauntleroy; one day they netted five beautiful smolts, which our volunteer safely transported downstream.  Other volunteers have been keeping watch on days the SPU crew has not been onsite.  Thanks to one and all!

  • Alex April 12, 2023 (10:42 am)

    The culvert will be out of 14’wide X 6’tall concrete and come in massively long lengths.    The design is one thing but the biggest issue is replacement under the Church parking lot.   Since it is private property the City wants the Church to pay all costs once the culvert reaches the Church lot.    The price tag for the Church has got to be in the millions.    Wonder how this is going to work out.

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