Johnson Creek Restoration and Habitat Enhancement

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Tideman Johnson Park is nestled in a canyon located alongside Johnson Creek, a major urban stream in Portland, Oregon, and tributary to the Willamette River. With erosion accelerated by urbanization, a segment of sanitary sewer line became exposed and floodplain functions were greatly diminished in this reach of Johnson Creek that once supported rearing and spawning habitat for salmonids.

ESA prepared four science-based design alternatives that protected the exposed sewer pipe and enhanced 1,800 feet of stream channel and fish habitat along the creek. We performed sediment transport potential modeling to guide the stable channel and floodplain design, performed a fluvial geomorphic and riverine processes assessment, evaluated stream hydrology, and performed hydraulic modeling of a 4,000-foot-long reach of the stream. In addition to the creek restoration, we led the design of floodplain enhancements for a 12-acre area within Tideman Johnson Park. The restoration design focused on providing access while preventing impact to the floodplain and wetlands, using techniques such as grading to restore floodplain function and creation of floodplain overflow channels. The design included 2,000 feet of paved trails, a boardwalk, a wetland overlook, and revegetation with native species. Pedestrian considerations such as connecting the internal trail to the Springwater Corridor Trail and providing ADA-accessible trails were key objectives for the park enhancement design. Our team provided permitting support for the restoration design, prepared the Biological Assessment and Letter of Map Revision for FEMA documenting alterations to the 100-year floodplain, and supported the site development permit submittal by developing figures and quantity takeoffs.

ESA’s restoration designs are keeping alive the legacy of the pioneering Johnson family whose land claim included this area, while encouraging the public to enjoy the natural beauty of the park.

Specialized Services

  • Biological assessments
  • Channel and floodplain restoration design
  • Construction observation and support
  • County and city regulations and mandates
  • Design specifications and construction bid packages
  • Engineering design and construction documents
  • Floodplain mapping
  • Habitat restoration and enhancement
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling
  • Native plant revegetation
  • Riparian restoration