Steigerwald Floodplain Restoration Project

Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership

Consor provided construction management services for this $23M floodplain restoration project that reconnected 960 acres of Columbia River floodplain in the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The project removed portions of the existing Columbia River levee to improve two miles of salmon habitat and included approximately one million cubic yards of embankment with the construction of two new setback levees and improvements to upland habitats.

Led by the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, the project also raised the grade of SR-14 above the 500-year flood elevation; constructed a new and expanded trail system throughout the refuge (including a pedestrian bridge); and realigned Gibbons Creek by removing the diversion dam, the elevated channel, and the fish ladder to reconnect the creek to its floodplain. Since the Gibbons Creek reconnection was completed in September 2021, adult coho salmon and steelhead have already been sighted—likely the first time these species have battled their way into the floodplain in 50 years!

Project Highlights

  • Restored the long-severed connection between the Columbia River and Gibbons Creek
  • Constructed improved trail system with novel viewpoints and new parking lot and amenities
  • Over one million cubic yards of earthwork involved in improving floodplain and upland habitat