Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration Project

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Tulalip Monitoring Camera

See shots of Meadowdale Beach through the Tulalip monitoring camera. The camera is set up to monitor the long-term effects of the project on the estuary’s health and the movement of the beach from tidal and creek influences. See the images here.


See a closer view of the estuary from this second camera


Thanks to the Tulalip Tribes for these cameras for the long term monitoring effort.

Public Beach Access Open at Meadowdale Beach Park While Final Construction Continues

Updated 1/9/23

After completing significant project milestones in 2022, Meadowdale Beach is accessible to the public as of Saturday, January 7, 2023 while the remaining construction is finished in a fenced-off area of the park. The Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration Project was initiated by Snohomish County Parks and has been a successful partnership with Snohomish County Surface Water Management (SWM), BNSF Railway, Tulalip Tribes, state and federal agencies, and the local community. This project is regionally significant for its role in salmon recovery and Puget Sound shoreline restoration while making significant improvements to the park. There are no portable restrooms along the trail. The only portable restrooms are located at the parking lot trailhead.


Beach access will be available for public use through the new accessible pedestrian walkway under the train track bridges. The remaining construction will occur in a fenced-off portion of the park and is anticipated to be finished in the summer of 2023. A ribbon-cutting event is being planned once the entire project is complete.


Some of the successes accomplished on the construction project in 2022 include:

  • Two BNSF train track bridges were installed which replaced 128 linear feet of two-track railroad
  • A rock-armored railroad embankment and box culvert were removed to allow water and sediment to more freely flow, restoring natural shoreline processes
  • A pedestrian walkway under the bridges was installed
  • Estuary restoration and landscape work
  • A pedestrian bridge was installed over the estuary  

Remaining project construction for 2023 will include:

  • Installing utilities, including storm, electrical, water, and irrigation
  • Installing benches, picnic tables, a picnic shelter, and portable restroom enclosure
  • Installing interpretive signs  


Beach access will be available for public use through the new accessible pedestrian walkway under the train track bridges. The remaining construction will occur in a fenced-off portion of the park and is anticipated to be finished in the summer of 2023. A ribbon-cutting event is being planned once the entire project is complete.


This is the first Puget Sound shoreline restoration project that included enlarging a stream crossing under railroad tracks along the shoreline. The installation of a wide railroad bridge to replace the undersized culverts was critical to Snohomish County achieving its vision to convert park lawn areas into high-functioning estuarine habitat to benefit salmon. SWM and many partners have conducted habitat monitoring at Meadowdale Beach for many years and will continue to monitor the effectiveness of this project. The Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Project is funded in part by the Federal Rail Administration, NOAA Fisheries, Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account, Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration, State Salmon Recovery Grants, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, the EPA, and the Restore America’s Estuaries: NEP CWG Program.


See the whole project process with before and after photos on the Surface Water Management GIS Story Map here!


ADA Access Gate Information

A gated access road is available for people with disabilities. To apply for access, please read the instructions and fill out the form here: https://snohomishcountywa.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Meadowdale-Beach-Park-56

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This project entails removing 128 linear feet of railroad embankment (shoreline armoring) along with the 6-foot wide culvert and installing a 5-span railroad bridge with a 100-foot opening to address ADA accessibility, beach access, fish passage, flooding, sediment delivery and maintenance issues associated with the undersized culvert. This project will restore a historic (pre-railroad) 1.3-acre estuary that will provide essential rearing habitat for ESA-listed Chinook (threatened), Chum, and Coho salmon as well as Cutthroat trout; and restore nearshore processes key to Puget Sound recovery. Additional habitat and stream enhancement will occur upstream of the estuary and a second footbridge will be installed to provide viewing platform of fish migration. Recreation components include a foot-wash, and picnic and bench viewpoints of the beach, estuary and Lund’s Gulch Creek. The existing portable restroom enclosure will be relocated out of the floodway and the ADA-parking will be brought up to current standards.


The Meadowdale Beach Park & Estuary Restoration Project is funded in part by the Federal Rail Administration, NOAA Fisheries, Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account, Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration, State Salmon Recovery Grants, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, the EPA, and the Restore America’s Estuaries: NEP CWG Program.

2021 Construction Completed

Activities that occurred during 2021 include clearing and grubbing, demolition, tree salvage, road reinforcement, erosion and sediment control, excavation for pedestrian bridge abutments, north trail rockery, and surfacing, and the following key milestones:

  • 364 spiral nails and spider hubs were installed to reinforce the ADA access road
  • Fill, including debris in excess of 10,000 yds excavated and removed off-site
  • Estuary substrates and starter channel installed
  • Nine of twelve snags for habitat installed
  • 21 pieces of large wood were installed within the creek and additional pieces were placed within the estuary
  • BNSF procured H-piles and bridge components for the 2022 install

2022 Construction Activities

  • Constructing temporary embankments for railroad crossing and railroad bridge construction
  • Removal of 128 feet of railroad embankment and 6-foot wide culvert and install two railroad bridge sections
  • Beach grading
  • Installing utilities including storm, electrical, water, and irrigation
  • Finalizing estuary grading and removal of debris and fill materials, fabric, topsoils, and planting installation
  • Installing benches, picnic tables, and portable restroom enclosure
  • Upgrading picnic shelter
  • Installing interpretive signage

City of Edmonds Haul Route Update (see Haul Route Map link below)

The Contractor will be hauling equipment and materials into (import) and from (export) the site along the haul route (map attached below). Periods of more extensive haul (dump trucks) will occur mid-May (2-3 weeks) and then from mid to late July through September.


Schedule Update

The project completion date has been revised to summer 2023 due to unanticipated events. Wildfires in California destroyed two BNSF bridges and one tunnel and required the reallocation of BNSF equipment and staff. As a result, the railroad bridge installation was delayed until 2022. Because some new construction improvements are partially within marine and freshwater, those tasks can only be done within the fish window of July 15th-October 15th. Major construction elements have been completed, including the railroad bridges and beach and estuary grading. Completion of the rest of the project and opening the site for public access at the end of 2022 was slightly delayed due to major storms in the fall/winter. Beach access will reopen on January 7, 2023.


Budget

The project is currently still within the proposed budget.

PROJECT CONSTRUCTION COST AND FUNDING

  • Estimated total construction cost: $16,752,420.
  • Total grants received: $6,704,078
    • Washington Wildlife Recreation Program (WWRP) - Water Access Grant - $604,078
    • Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) Grant - $500,000
    • Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) Grant - $800,000
    • Estuary Salmon and Restoration Program Grant - $1,000,000
    • Federal Rail Administration Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety Improvement (FRA/CRISI) Grant - $3,500,000
    • National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Grant - $300,000
    • County (Parks and Recreation (REET)/Surface Water Management/Councilmatic Bonds) - $8.046M

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

  • Presented project to WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council March 17, 2022 
  • Presented project to Pilchuck Audubon Society March 11, 2022 
  • Parks and SWM/MRC on-site presentation to students (11-16 y.o.) from Sky Valley Education Center, Monroe School District

RELATED ARTICLES

Contact Person: 

Rachel Dotson

Park Planning Supervisor

rachel.dotson@snoco.org

425-388-6610


Rob Marchand

Senior Park Planner

rob.marchand@snoco.org

425-388-6632


Press Inquiries

Rose Intveld

Communications Specialist

rose.intveld@snoco.org

425-388-6621