June 12, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

FEMA awards $2.7 million to restore Amazon Creek near South Eugene High

2 min read
The work will include removing the 65-year-old concrete channel that runs through Amazon Park from East 24th Avenue to East 20th Avenue. The bank of the creek will be sloped and replanted with native species, and a footbridge will be reconstructed south of 20th Avenue.

from Marion Suitor Barnes, city of Eugene

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the city of Eugene a $2.7 million grant to restore portions of Amazon Creek to a natural stream, providing resilience to the channel for decades to come.

The work will include removing the 65-year-old concrete channel that runs through Amazon Park from East 24th Avenue to East 20th Avenue. The bank of the creek will be sloped and replanted with native species, and a footbridge will be reconstructed south of 20th Avenue.

The project is projected for construction from June to November.

“Although we are excited to rebuild a section of Amazon Creek with a nature-based solution in the heart of Eugene, the project ultimately removes a potential hazard should the concrete channel eventually fail,” said Sean Kovensky, a civil engineer with Public Works serving as project manager.

The section of the creek that will see remediation is within a major city park and adjacent to a high school, a middle school, and a much-beloved trail system that often is used for educational purposes.

The full cost of the project is estimated at $3.6 million. The FEMA grant will cover 75% of that cost. According to the grant, the remaining 25% must come from local sources. The city will provide funding from the stormwater utility fund, stormwater system development charges, and the 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond. The city submitted the grant application in August 2020.

Randy Prince of the Amazon Neighborhood Association expressed concern that the Amazon Park bike path would be closed during the project, to provide a parking place for heavy equipment used during the project.

The city said during intermittent closures of the Amazon Park path, the northbound (east side) lane of Amazon Parkway will be closed to traffic and repurposed for bikes and pedestrians. Pedestrians approaching the closed path at either end (19th Avenue and 24th Avenue) should follow the marked detour path onto Amazon Parkway.

At those times, northbound traffic on Amazon Parkway at 24th Avenue should follow the marked detour route. Southbound traffic on Amazon Parkway should watch for pedestrians and construction vehicles exiting the site, and use caution.

Learn more about the vision for Amazon Creek and Amazon Park from the project information sheet (retrieved Feb. 26, 2024).

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