The first half of the East Lents Floodplain Restoration Project is nearly complete. The 70-acre project, south of SE Foster Road between SE 106th and SE 110th, restores natural Johnson Creek floodplain functions in what was once a residential neighborhood. The increase in flood storage will reduce the flooding that often closes Foster Road and damages businesses and homes.
City of Portland staff, project partners and Congressman Earl Blumenauer visited the restoration site today to mark the project’s halfway point. “2011 has been a record breaking storm year, and climate change will only bring us more extreme weather events, not fewer,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “It is rewarding to see the federal, state, and local governments working with residents in East Lents to restore this section of Johnson Creek floodplain and make this community more disaster-resistant. Not only will taxpayers save money, they will also be safer and more secure.”
“Because this project reduces flooding, it marks a significant step in revitalizing the Lents neighborhood,” said Bureau of Environmental Services Director Dean Marriott. “Foster Roadis a major eastPortlandartery for goods and services, but it can’t serve that purpose when it’s repeatedly flooded.”
In summer 2010, the City ofPortlandcompleted an effort that started in 1994 to purchase and remove flood-prone structures in the project area. Through the Johnson Creek Willing Seller Program, the city purchased 84 parcels and 54 acres, and helped 60 property owners move away from flood areas. This summer, the city removed more than 50,000 cubic yards of material from the project site to re-connect the creek with its floodplain.
The restoration project received a $2.7-million pre-disaster mitigation grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency because it reduces flood damage. The $8 million project will also improve Johnson Creek water quality and enhance habitat for threatened salmon and other fish and wildlife.
This fall, the city will begin planting 70,000 trees and shrubs in the project area. Next spring, the city will complete grading and removing soil, and will remove three bridges and portions of road at SE 106th, 108th, and 110th to allow Johnson Creek to fully access the project site during flood events.
For more information contact Linc Mann, 503-823-5328.