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The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) honored management consulting and engineering firm R. W. Beck with the 2002 Outstanding Water Resource Project Award for the Idylwood Creek Restoration project in Redmond, Wash., a suburb of Seattle and home to Microsoft Corp.
The Idylwood Creek watershed drains a neighborhood developed with few detention facilities to control the increased runoff from streets and homes.
High flows in the creek and a steep channel gradient had created a wide, incised channel with degraded aquatic habitat and high vertical banks. The high banks were threatening property and structures and creating a safety hazard for people who used nearby Idylwood Beach Park for recreation.
The restoration project diverts high flows around a backyard ravine into a 4,150-foot-long, 36-inch bypass pipeline. The project also included major modifications to the creek in the park to change hydraulics, improve safety and rehabilitate aquatic habitat. The corridor for the creek was further protected by a wooden fence and re- vegetated with 9,000 native plants.
To restore fish passage, concrete weirs and culvert baffles were installed and 75 feet of culvert was removed to add daylight to a section of the creek.