‘East Lents Floodplain Restoration Project’ moves forward

More than just being a good idea – see why, someday, because of this project, Johnson Creek may never again flood businesses and neighbors along SE Foster Road …

While talking with neighbors, Marie Johnson, the Johnson Creek Watershed Team coordinator for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, answers questions about this project.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A couple of weeks ago, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) gave folks a look at the “early design ideas” regarding the “East Lents Floodplain Restoration Project”.

“And, we’re here to get public input for these designs,” explained Marie Johnson, the Johnson Creek Watershed Team coordinator for BES.

Filling in the blanks
“We’re asking folks to look over our pre-design report and the technical memorandum that accompanies it,” Johnson told us at their Open House, held in the Lents Seventh-day Adventist church before the Lents Neighborhood Association meeting.

“We want to give people the opportunity to ask any questions as we prepare to move on. June 6 is the close of public comment,” added Johnson.

She pointed out that the design concepts for the project haven’t changed. Instead, the report explains the analysis they’ve done while working on this project designed to “absorb” storm-surge water levels in Johnson Creek after a heavy rainfall.

Johnson reminded us that SE Foster Road is heavily used – with about 25,000 trips a day. “That’s a lot of interrupted trips if it’s flooded.”

Part of Lents’ revitalization effort
This is important for quality of life, public safety, and economic development of Lents, stressed Johnson. “Here in Lents, the city and the community are working to revitalize the area. When there is frequent flooding, it’s difficult to get people to come to the area and seriously consider the investment necessary to bring good jobs to the area.”

Affected neighbors Chris and Karin Hassette look at the improvements the floodplain restoration project will bring.

Lents neighbors Chris and Karin Hassette were two of the folks who looked over the project’s documentation.

“I’m kind of excited that there’ll be some improvement,” Karin said.

Chris added, “I dread the construction phase. There’ll be a lot of big trucks and dust on our street, SE 110th Avenue, south of Foster Road. Although our house stayed dry the last time it flooded, there was as much as 16 inches of water covering the road, blocking our access in and out.”

These drawings show the two alternatives for the floodplain restoration project.

Time for your two cents
The project’s design approach will be decided this summer. Detailed design work will happen over the next year. Construction is planned for summer, 2010.

To get the facts, and chime in with your comments, CLICK HERE.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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