Do you know that besides the Willamette River, there are 13 other bodies of water surrounding our project?
Both natural and manmade waterways flow here. The Whilamut Natural Area is home to the Canoe Canal, also known as Patterson Slough, and two protected wetlands. The Canoe Canal water originates from a diversion structure built in 1974 east of the bridge and reconnects to the river near the Ferry Street Bridge. The wetlands retain rainwater throughout much of the year, providing natural filtration and supporting a diverse plant environment.
On the south bank of the river, an interconnected network of waterways includes eight wetlands and two creeks. Three of the largest are Laurel Valley Creek, Augusta Creek and the Glenwood Slough. Water from the Laurel Hill Valley neighborhood winds through this network and flows into the river west of the bridges. Located along Interstate 5, the Franklin Boulevard off-ramp and the railroad tracks, this network captures and naturally treats rain runoff.
Before construction began, we developed plans to avoid or minimize impacts to all of these bodies of water. As part of the Willamette River Bridge project, we will improve this system through stream restoration and new bioswales that capture and treat more of the runoff before it enters the river.