Spruce Street Channel: Lessons for Coordinating Wetland Permitting, Design, Grants, and Property Lines
The Spruce St. Channel Project improves a drainage channel in the City of Escondido with a long history of urban flooding. The project includes grading and habitat improvements to 1500 linear feet of earthen channel, flood walls, and maintenance access improvements in a complex project area highly constrained by active railway, utility easements, and commercial properties. The project coordinator will share lessons learned about grant funding, property owner negotiations, wetland permitting with State and Federal Agencies, and project design. The multi-million dollar project funding includes the following sources: San Diego County Vector Control Program Grant, Proposition 1 Disadvantaged Community Planning Grant, Active Transportation Connections Grant, and the City of Escondido Utilities Capital Improvement Project fund. The City negotiated with property owners including North County Transit District for project agreements including construction considerations and long-term maintenance responsibilities. Lessons learned from project design will be shared, including project review by Public Works maintenance staff and coordinating multiple design disciplines. Due to the earthen channel portion of the project, wetland permits were required by Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and CA Department of Fish and Wildlife. Long term maintenance of the channel will be included in the City’s Regional General Permit (RGP 94) for Channel Maintenance. The main project construction is due to be completed in 2020, with post-completion habitat monitoring and maintenance for at least two years.