City of Mountlake Terrace

Ballinger Park Hall Creek Improvement Project

In order to fulfill this component of the Ballinger Park Master Plan in a cost-effective manner, the city approached the Corps of Engineers as a project partner under the Section 206 Continuing Authorities Program.  In the summer of 2018, a project team consisting of Corps and city staff was brought together to uncover any “no-go” obstacles to the project during the feasibility phase.   The feasibility study is now complete – no insurmountable obstacles were found during the investigation.  A preferred creek restoration design has been selected, and design and engineering has also been completed. The preferred design was selected using input from the public and from city staff, as well as through extensive analysis by the Army Corps on maximizing project benefit while minimizing project cost. The contract for project construction, valued at $5.5M, was awarded in January 2023.  The project will break ground in summer of 2023.


  • Removal of old, non-functional tennis court 
  • Creek floodplain reconnection
  • Protection of existing trail and field use
  • Installation of channel diversification (boulders and large wood pieces) 
  • Removal of bank armor
  • Bank restoration 
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Addition of riparian and wetland native plants
  • Addition of overstory and understory native plants around ponds and wetland areas
  • Protection of habitat areas with signage, boardwalks, and fencing
  • Construction of new creek channel with increased habitat potential
  • Installation of pedestrian/maintenance bridge over new creek channel
  • Construction of extensive flyover boardwalk to provide access to park visitors and protect sensitive areas 
  • Protection of sight lines for park safety
  • Creation of educational signage targeted to specific audiences (dog walkers, fishermen, kids, etc.)
  • Fulfillment of the environmental protection component of the Ballinger Park Master Plan 

The next steps are completion of the design, engineering, and construction of the project.

Link to site plan

Lake Ballinger Invasive Weed Control

This is an ongoing effort to manage invasive plant species in Lake Ballinger to promote good water quality, lower temperatures, and encourage a diverse plant community.  An integrated aquatic plant management plan has been developed, and periodically the lake is treated to reduce the amount of invasive Eurasian water milfoil, fragrant water lily, and curly leaf pondweed. Herbicide treatment for Eurasian watermilfoil carried out in 2019 and 2021, bottom barrier installation at McAleer Creek mouth completed in fall of 2020. Herbicide treatment for Eurasian water milfoil and curly leaf pondweed to be completed in spring of 2023.

McAleer Creek Culvert Removal Project

In late 2014, the City of Mountlake Terrace completed a culvert removal project on McAleer Creek between Lake Ballinger and Interstate 5. The project removed three undersized 60-inch culverts installed in the early 1980s at the Nile Shrine Golf Center. New full span bridges replaced the culvert crossings on the creek downstream of the road access driveway off State Route 104. A new full span concrete box culvert bridge was installed at the road access driveway that allows for full stream passage under the structure. Fish friendly gravel was placed under the bridge and streamside plants and vegetation were planted in areas disturbed by the work. These installations met Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife fish passage standards and eliminated the need for ongoing maintenance at each site while allowing for the full flow of water within the stream banks during storm events.

City of Edmonds

Mathay-Ballinger Park Regional Infiltration Facility Project

Green stormwater infrastructure project to treat and infiltrate much of the Edmonds runoff to Lake Ballinger including a major portion of the highly urbanized Highway 99 corridor. The desired outcome of the project is to reduce pollutants flowing into the lake, help mitigate temperature impact form stormwater sources, and reduce stormwater impacts on Lake Ballinger. Feasibility study completed in 2020; engineering & design completed in 2022; construction scheduled for summer 2023.

Property Purchase - 7317 Ballinger Way

City to purchase property and remove the home and any pollution-generating surfaces on the site.  Impacts to Lake Ballinger seasonal flooding will be minimal, but removal of a structure from the floodplain does have some flooding control and water quality benefits. Potential future site for treatment of Ballinger Way runoff. The city is currently negotiating a grant agreement for the project with Ecology.

76th Avenue W and 212th Street SW Intersection Improvement Project 

A grant funded roadway project that will add traffic flow, safety, pedestrian/bicycling, and stormwater utility improvements. Left and right turn lanes will be added in all directions, wider sidewalks will be installed, and traffic signals and signage will be upgraded. Bike lanes will be added on 76th Avenue W from 220th Street SW to Olympic View Drive and 212th Street SW from Bowdoin Way to 72nd Avenue W. Stormwater improvements include the installation of three water quality biofiltration vaults and one larger storage vault, adding improvements to the City's drainage system that currently flows to Halls Creek, and then Lake Ballinger, without water quality treatment or flow reduction. The project will start construction in Spring 2017 and will be completed by Fall 2017.

Outlet Study with Northwest Hydraulics

In 2013 the City of Edmonds contracted Northwest Hydraulic Consultants to construct updated modeling of the Lake Ballinger watershed. The revised models were focused specifically on simulating lake level for the purpose of assessing its response to the lake outlet control structure. This was accomplished by updating subbasin detention in the basin, using improved land use and soils information, and through calibration to recorded stream flows on Hall and McAleer Creeks (collected by the City of Mountlake Terrace). The updated models were used to quantify the impact to flood levels of the McAleer Creek culvert replacement project and to theoretical modifications of the outlet control weir. The models can be used to assess future changes in the watershed and to revise the FEMA floodplain delineation of Lake Ballinger. View the results (PDF).

City of Shoreline

Echo Lake Cyanobacteria Management Plan

The plan is designed to identify community concerns, develop priorities, and describe a lake management strategy to reduce the frequency and duration of toxic algae blooms and ensure recreational use, and to identify sources of phosphorus resulting in algae blooms and determine short and long term treatment plans to be implemented in the future. It will be used as a tool for allocating resources to implement  recommended management activities, with a framework for future management needs. Additional grant funding will be needed to implement treatments. A quality assurance project plan has been prepared and sampling has started, project is currently in study phase. 

City of Lake Forest Park

McAleer Creek Bypass Retrofit (2012)

Completed in 2012, the McAleer Creek Bypass Retrofit optimizes the bypass facility that was installed by King County in 1994. The facility, as constructed in 1994, captures high-flows in McAleer Creek upstream of the Sheridan Beach floodplain, and diverts them underground in a 48-inch diameter pipe to a to location on McAleer Creek downstream of the floodplain. This facility was constructed in response to repetitive flooding of the Sheridan Beach Neighborhood. While the facility does provide some level of flood reduction benefits, it was not optimized according to the modeling in the City's 2009 Flood Reduction Planning Study. In 2011, the City of Lake Forest Park received $250,000 from the State to optimize the facility. The McAleer Creek Bypass Retrofit project included the addition of adjustable plates to increase the flow into the bypass pipe during flood events, smoothing the intake of the bypass pipe to increase velocity of captured flows and a maintenance catwalk that allows maintenance crews to clean intake screens during flood events.

McAleer Creek Culvert Replacement - NE 178th Street (2015)

The undersized and structurally deficient culvert over McAleer Creek at NE 178th Street was replaced in 2015. The new culvert is a 21-foot wide three sided concrete box culvert that has capacity for storm events that exceed the 100-yr return interval. The bottomless culvert allows for a more natural stream channel. The project also included stream channel restoration immediately upstream and downstream of the culvert.

Lyon Creek Flood Mitigation Project (2015)

While this project is not in the Lake Ballinger/McAleer Creek basin, Lyon Creek does cause flooding on McAleer Creek when it overflows its banks near the Lake Forest Park Town Center. In fact, over 20 homes along McAleer Creek, a fire station, State Route 522 and the Lake Forest Park Town Center flood when Lyon Creek overflows into McAleer Creek. To resolve this issue the City applied for FEMA Hazard Mitigation funding along with state and county funding to replace the three private culverts and one public culvert on SR 522. This $6.94 million project was constructed in 2015. All four of the culverts are 20-foot wide four-sided box culverts with capacity for the 100-yr storm event. In addition to the culverts, over 1,100 feet of stream channel was widened and restored with large woody debris. The years following 2015 were some of the rainiest on record and have not caused flooding on Lyon or McAleer Creek. The City is working with FEMA to update the flood insurance rate map with a reduced floodplain area.

Culvert Replacements (Future)

In anticipation for higher stream flows during storm events and to restore fish passage, the City of Lake Forest Park is systematically replacing aging culverts on McAleer Creek and Lyon Creek. Culverts that are structurally deficient will be replaced first followed by culverts that cause flooding or are fish barriers, working upstream from Lake Washington. The City has over 20 culverts that it plans to replace in the next 10 years.