Following restoration work, Meadowdale Beach to reopen to public starting Jan. 7

During a visit in July 2021, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell called the project “an unbelievable investment” to ensure both people and salmon can access the water. (My Edmonds News file photo)

After completion of significant project milestones in 2022, Meadowdale Beach will once again be accessible to the public on Saturday, Jan. 7.

The Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Restoration Project was initiated by Snohomish County Parks — al partnership with Snohomish County Surface Water Management (SWM), BNSF Railway, Tulalip Tribes, state and federal agencies, and the local community.

Shortly after construction began in June 2021, elected officials toured the park to learn more about the project.

According to Snohomish County, this project is regionally significant for its role in salmon recovery and Puget Sound shoreline restoration, while making significant improvements to the park.

Accomplishments on the construction project in 2022 include:

  • Two BNSF train track bridges were installed, which replaced 128 linear feet of two-track railroad
  • A rock-armored railroad embankment and box culvert were removed to allow water and sediment to more freely flow, restoring natural shoreline processes
  • A pedestrian walkway under the bridges was installed
  • Estuary restoration and landscape work
  • A pedestrian bridge was installed over the estuary

Remaining project construction for 2023 will include:

  • Installing utilities, including storm, electrical, water, and irrigation
  • Installing benches, picnic tables, a picnic shelter, and portable restroom enclosure
  • Installing interpretive signs

Beach access will be available for public use through the new accessible pedestrian walkway under the train track bridges. The remaining construction will take place in a fenced-off portion of the park and is anticipated to be finished in the summer of 2023. A ribbon-cutting event is being planned once the entire project is complete.

This is the first Puget Sound shoreline restoration project that included enlarging a stream crossing under railroad tracks along the shoreline. The installation of a wide railroad bridge to replace the undersized culverts was critical to Snohomish County achieving its vision to convert park lawn areas to high functioning estuarine habitat to benefit salmon. SWM and many partners have conducted habitat monitoring at Meadowdale Beach for many years and will continue to monitor the effectiveness of this project.

The Meadowdale Beach Park and Estuary Project is funded in part by the Federal Rail Administration, NOAA Fisheries, Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account, Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program, Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration, State Salmon Recovery Grants, Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, the EPA, and the Restore America’s Estuaries: NEP CWG Program.

  1. Growing up in Meadowdale in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, it was a childhood pleasure to go down to the old farm in the canyon and see Dan, the plow horse; pick apples off the trees and wander down to the beach. Mr. Bartell, who owned drug stores in Seattle, had a summer home down there, when he came to Meadowdale, he brought little yellow boxes of candy for all the kids he saw along the way. There were other cabins down there, one family had the problem of bears in the basement. We were free-range kids, just be home at dinnertime, life was good!

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