A pilot project that evaluates a soggy section of a Santa Clara waterway is nearing completion. Staff last year kicked off the East Santa Clara Waterway (ESCW) Enhancement and Maintenance Study. The study looked at a ¾-mile section of the East Santa Clara Waterway, just behind St. Vincent de Paul’s store on Division Avenue (highlighted area at left).
The waterway mostly meanders through private property in Eugene and Lane County. At times the waterway is enclosed in pipes and culverts. Following a City stormwater project in 2015, standing water is now common between Lone Oak and Hunsaker.
To better understand the issues, the City and County engaged people living along the waterway about their ideas and concerns. The group held a "neighborhood conversation" in a resident’s living room on June 11. During the passionate discussion, City and County staff shared the issues identified and the potential actions, which could include a regrade of the waterway, lowering the culvert at Hunsaker and public education.
The ESCW isn’t unique in its challenges. There are many other waterways throughout the City and County. One of the goals of this project was to set up a framework to better and more quickly solve complicated issues like this one. Staff also hope it will inspire government agencies and residents to work together to allow water to flow freely and ensure clean water is returned to the river.