Stanwood recently completed Phase 1 of the Irvine Slough Stormwater Separation project, which aims to protect lower Stanwood from flooding. Irvine Slough runs along Highway 532 and empties into the Stillaguamish River near the Hamilton smokestack in the upper middle of this aerial photo.

The Stanwood City Council gave final acceptance Thursday, Sept. 9, to the first phase of the Irvine Slough Stormwater Separation project.

Interwest Construction Inc. completed Phase 1 of the project, and the council voted unanimously on the plan aimed at protecting lower Stanwood from flooding.

Downtown Stanwood stormwater drains into Irvine Slough, which runs along Highway 532 to the south. When Irvine Slough fills with water, floodgates close to prevent floodwater pushing into Stanwood. Then the stormwater network can’t drain into the slough, so stormwater can fill the low-lying areas of the city.

This project allows drainage from the Irvine Slough pump station to be removed separately from floodwater into Irvine Slough. It includes an additional pump, controls and drainage pipes by the Hamilton smokestack into Irvine Slough.

The original city engineer’s estimate was about $987,000. The Interwest bid came in at $921,000. With four change-work orders to address unforeseen obstacles, the final price came to $1.03 million.

The project used more rock and gravel than estimated, city officials said. The biggest project adjustment was to replace the existing rusty outfall for the new pump.

Since crews drained the system while working, officials decided to replace rusty older metal parts while workers had easy access, Public Works Director Kevin Hushagen said.

This project is being funded by a state Department of Ecology Flood Plains by Design grant for $1.05 million.

Other business

• The council renewed an agreement with the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force. This countywide program costs nearly $160,000. Stanwood’s share is $1,357. The drug task force conducts investigations into mid to upper-level drug traffickers. The force shares resources and information, provides training and assists with low-level operations when requested.

• City Administrator Jennifer Ferguson said the state Department of Transportation is studying how to improve Highway 532 from I-5, through Stanwood, to Terry’s Corner. A workshop will be set for Transportation officials to discuss problems and solutions with all the stakeholders, including Stanwood Council, Island County commissioners, Snohomish Council and the transit systems of Island, Snohomish and Skagit counties.

Contact reporter Peggy Wendel at or 360-416-2189.

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