LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Addressing flooding in South Park in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities

Flooding is a regular challenge in the South Park neighborhood, due largely to a lack of drainage systems that meet current standards. Floods are particularly common during high tide and heavy rain events. Some streets are unpaved gravel and lack sidewalks and street trees.

Summary:

  • The City of Seattle is starting work to install improved drainage and pipe systems in the South Park neighborhood, to better address recurring flooding and stormwater management challenges in the neighborhood.
  • Streets will be repaved and some gravel streets will be upgraded to pavement. In addition, sidewalks and street trees will be installed.
  • We’re completing this work now so South Park community members can benefit as soon as possible and experience less frequent flooding challenges.
  • Our West Seattle Bridge team is coordinated closely with this project to minimize construction impacts as we keep people moving on the detour route and build Reconnect West Seattle projects throughout the Duwamish Valley and West Seattle.
  • If you’re driving through South Park on the West Seattle Bridge detour route, please plan ahead, drive slowly, watch for people biking and walking, use other travel options when possible, and stay on posted detour routes – please don’t cut through neighborhood side streets.
  • To stay informed, please visit the project website and sign up for regular email updates from Seattle Public Utilities.

Chronic flooding in the South Park neighborhood has been a major challenge for decades due to a lack of properly functioning drainage systems, particularly during high tide and heavy rain events.

The South Park Drainage and Roadway Partnership Project will help reduce flooding by installing new pipes and drains to collect and better manage stormwater. This water will ultimately be directed to a future pump station for treatment prior to reaching the nearby Duwamish Waterway. The new pump station is expected to be completed in 2022.

We have been working collaboratively with the South Park community in planning these drainage, stormwater and road improvements since 2015. We’re completing this work now so South Park community members can benefit as soon as possible and experience less frequent flooding challenges.

South Park is located near several industrial sites and sits between several major highways, resulting in increased vehicle emissions. Additionally, the neighborhood became part of the detour route for the closed West Seattle High-Rise Bridge, and has seen increased traffic volumes since March 2020. Since this closure, we’ve worked closely with South Park residents to help with the impacts people driving the detour route the community, including building the South Park Home Zone.

Photo of a community celebration in South Park in fall 2018. Kids and adults can be seen playing games such as life-sized chess and Connect Four in the closed-off street. Informational booths and a food truck are also visible in the image.
South Park community members celebrate during a South Park Pavement to Parks community event in fall 2018.

Our West Seattle Bridge team is coordinated closely with this project to minimize construction impacts as we keep people moving on the detour route and build Reconnect West Seattle projects throughout the Duwamish Valley and West Seattle.

Construction is scheduled to begin the week of October 18 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Some early utility work is already underway.

The South Park Drainage and Roadway Partnership Project is located in the South Park Industrial Area, between 2nd Ave S and 8th Ave S, extending to S Holden St and S Monroe St. Please see the project map below for additional details.

Map of the project area in South Park. The map shows where new street and drainage improvements will be installed, as well as a nearby West Seattle Bridge detour route, and a future pump station along the Duwamish Waterway.
Map of the project area in South Park.

What South Park residents, businesses, and travelers in the project area can expect to see during construction:

  • Construction taking place Monday through Friday during the day, from approximately 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Construction noise, dirt, vibration, and pavement excavation and removal.
  • Water removal and treatment systems within public right-of-way.
  • Increased construction traffic and staging of large equipment in the area.
  • Driveway access to private properties to be maintained.
  • Driveways may need to be closed for short durations during construction. Seattle Public Utilities and the project contractor will coordinate closures with property owners as needed.
  • Local access maintained during construction for people who live, work, or visit the area.

People driving through the area can expect delays and detours. Please plan ahead, drive slowly, watch for people biking and walking, use other travel options when possible, and stay on posted detour routes. Please don’t cut through local residential streets. Thank you in advance for your patience as we work to build this new drainage system in South Park.

Seattle Public Utilities also has another smaller project nearby that will start work in October 2021: the Cloverdale Natural Drainage System Project.

This green infrastructure project will provide water quality treatment for the water runoff coming from S Cloverdale St, helping remove and break down pollutants that would otherwise flow directly into the Duwamish River. It will also help reduce flooding to adjacent private property, reducing ongoing operations and maintenance challenges for the City.

Map of the Cloverdale Natural Drainage System Project area. The map shows where the new natural drainage system will be installed, as well as the nearby West Seattle Bridge Detour route, and a local park, the South Park Playground.
Map of the Cloverdale Natural Drainage System Project area.

Seattle Public Utilities started this project 5 years ago with community-led efforts to improve this intersection, near a sidewalk we installed on the south side of Cloverdale in 2019 to help improve pedestrian safety. Once complete, the project will have helped achieved part of the community’s vision for a safer, cleaner, more attractive west entrance to the South Park neighborhood.

The Cloverdale project is located at the S Cloverdale St and 5th Ave S intersection. Construction is scheduled to begin in October and is expected to be completed by the end 2021. Construction will be contained to the pavement outside Cascade Moving and Storage Inc. and Rasmussen Equipment Company. Work will take place Monday through Friday during the day, from approximately 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. South Park residents, businesses, and travelers through this area can expect construction noise, dirt, vibration, and pavement excavation and removal. Driveway access to private properties will be maintained.

To stay informed, please subscribe to regular email updates about the project and visit the Seattle Public Utilities project website.