So far, so good for new culvert aimed at alleviating Lake Ballinger flooding

The new McAleer Creek bridge/culvert.
The new McAleer Creek bridge/culvert.

It is only October — there’s still plenty of rain in our near future — but city officials and one Lake Ballinger resident are initially pleased with the results of a new culvert built to, in part, help alleviate seasonal flooding that often occurs at the lake shared by Mountlake Terrace and Edmonds.

“The new concrete box culvert at McAleer Creek is performing as expected given the amount of rain we have received to date,” said Mountlake Terrace Interim City Manager Scott Hugill.

The area received almost two-and-a-half inches of rainfall in September, and despite lake levels fluctuating about a foot during the month, no notable flooding occurred around Lake Ballinger’s shoreline.

The 30-foot bridge structure over McAleer Creek on the Nile Shriners Golf Course was finished earlier in September and replaced a pipe culvert that occasionally restricted water flow out of Lake Ballinger during winter heavy rains. Two other culverts a little downstream will be replaced next summer to further benefit creek flow.

Ken Peirce lives on the Edmonds side of Lake Ballinger and watches the lake level with a metal yardstick he has placed on his property. “I agree the lake appears to have stayed at an OK level despite the rainfall,” he said.

Peirce cautions that it is still too early in the rainy season to get a true indication of the new culvert’s affect on lake levels. “With the first rainfall, the remaining ground that is still pervious has a great absorbing capacity,” he explained. “It is usually the relentless heavy rain, with a large amount falling right before a flood that results in it.”

Hugill is also reserving further comment on the new culvert until later. “A better determination will be available later this fall,” he said.
“As far as maintenance, and fish passage, the box culvert is a significant improvement on the prior corrugate metal pipe,” Hugill added.
The cost to the City of Mountlake Terrace for the new bridge / culvert, and the two culvert / pedestrian crossings to be built next summer, came to $882,387.

— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.