MARROWSTONE ISLAND — A year-long project to build a new bridge and remove a fish barrier will begin Monday at Kilisut Harbor just west of Marrowstone Island.
The $12 million contract, awarded from the state Department of Transportation to Cascade Bridge LLC, will build a 440-foot, two-lane concrete girder bridge on state Highway 116.
It will remove the existing causeway and build 11-foot lanes and 4-foot shoulders. It also will be up to code with current seismic standards, said Tina Werner, a public information officer for WSDOT’s Olympic region.
Flaggers will feed traffic through alternate lanes through mid-September during weekday daytime construction. Then traffic will be directed by a temporary signal through fall 2020.
“It’s necessary because we will be building a bypass so we can keep traffic moving around that area where we will be building,” Werner said Friday.
The bridge is the only way to access Marrowstone Island by land.
The North Olympic Salmon Coalition partnered with Transportation on the project with a grant from the Salmon Recovery Board.
The grant, awarded through the state Recreation and Conservation office in 2014, totaled nearly $8.2 million.
The goal is to restore the historical tidal channels between the harbor and Oak Bay, creating about 2,300 acres of productive habitat in Puget Sound, Werner said.
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife previously identified both juvenile and adult fish that pass through the channel as Endangered Species Act-listed Hood Canal summer chum as well as Puget Sound chinook and Puget South steelhead, Werner said.
Construction will be allowed in the water during the current fish window through Sept. 15.
“We still have a lot of work we’re going to have to do instead of just being in the water,” Werner said. “There are the more technical components of it, building approaches and setting girders. A lot of that work comes into play.”
Marine traffic, including kayakers and pleasure craft, will not be allowed during construction. A pedestrian trail also will be closed from the Transportation right of way east toward the channel.
“There are no plans at this time for a total highway closure,” Werner said. “If something were to come up, we would let the public know.”
The project is part of the state’s fish passage barrier-removal program, which identifies and removes obstructions caused by culverts under state highways.
“We are required to correct a lot of the outdated culverts by a certain date, and that’s what this project aims to do,” Werner said.
The Jefferson County Public Utility District installed temporary poles in May to move power lines from the south side of Flagler Road to the north side to prepare for bridge construction.
Jimmy Scarborough, a senior electrical engineer for the PUD, told Peninsula Daily News at that time the utility plans to convert that section of line underground and attach it to the underside of the new bridge once it’s finished.
The PUD also trimmed trees and performed maintenance work during the planned island-wide outage.
“Overall, when it’s done, it’s going to be a great, beautiful bridge,” Werner said.
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].