Progress on the Steigerwald Reconnection Project continues on schedule, thanks to our local construction crews from Rotschy and LKE. Crews demolished and removed the Gibbons Creek water control structure and finished construction of a new channel just south of State Route 14, bringing the creek one step closer to being released from its artificial channel into its historic channel and alluvial fan next month. Workers continue to bring down the current levee along the Columbia and build up the new setback levees. The east setback levee is at its design elevation, and crews will begin hydroseeding and constructing its maintenance road later this month. Construction of the west levee’s embankment is approximately 80% complete. Improving flood protection for nearby property owners is key to this project, and the team is ensuring the new levees are near completion before connection to the Columbia is re-established and fish passage is restored. Earlier this month, the team successfully tested the levee closure structure that spans State Route 14, connecting the earthen levee to the south with the concrete flood wall to the north. The team also has been busy excavating the site’s new wetlands, placing large wood for habitat, and constructing the new trail system’s bridges.
View a 360-degree view of the sights and sounds of the Refuge, from construction crews bringing down the levee along the Columbia to the quiet of Gibbons Creek in the north of the Refuge.