Venema Creek Natural Drainage Project
Seattle, WA

Located in the Crown Hill Neighborhood of Northwest Seattle, the Venema Creek Natural Drainage System Project involved the design and construction of five blocks of residential roadway (approximately 1600′) to include natural stormwater drainage facilities and new sidewalks. Using cutting edge sustainable engineering techniques, the design called for retrofitting the streetscape to intercept rainwater at its source. A series of bioretention cells were constructed to improve the flow, character, and pattern of stormwater infiltration and to reduce the average annual volume of stormwater runoff, thereby enhancing downstream salmon habitat. The defining features of the bioretention cells are their concrete and metal weirs which work to contain stormwater, giving it enough time to infiltrate into the aquifer. Within the cells, native plantings were selected to both filter water as it infiltrates and to give the street a more natural appearance.

The overall look of the project was very important to the homeowners along the street. For this reason, our Design Team went above and beyond with public outreach to make sure that the entire community felt like it was part of the design process. Our Design Team created a package of graphics that were taken door-to-door and used to have conversations with individual homeowners about the design. These graphics were extremely useful in helping the public understand what the project would look like and how it would affect them directly.

In 2016, the Venema Creek Natural Drainage System Project was awarded the ACEC “Best in State Gold Award” for successful fulfillment of client and owner needs.