Sequim Bay Bridge continues the Olympic Discovery Trail through Sequim Bay State Park and rests over an unnamed creek that park officials planted native vegetation next to in order to create a better fish habitat. The bridge was constructed as part of a court order to replace restricting culverts for fish passage. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim Bay Bridge continues the Olympic Discovery Trail through Sequim Bay State Park and rests over an unnamed creek that park officials planted native vegetation next to in order to create a better fish habitat. The bridge was constructed as part of a court order to replace restricting culverts for fish passage. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Fish passage projects continue from state park to highway

By Matthew Nash

Olympic Peninsula News Group

SEQUIM — As the Carlsborg sewer project tentatively wraps up in the next week, a $2.728 million culvert replacement project for Matriotti Creek is expected to begin nearby by the end of July.

Shari King, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said crews with Interwest Construction Inc. will begin replacing the culvert Monday, July 31, on U.S. Highway 101 west of Carlsborg Road.

The creek’s 5-foot-wide steel culvert will be replaced with a 10-foot-by-19-foot box culvert to open upward of 5 miles of fish habitat, Transportation officials report.

King said Transportation anticipates finishing the project by the end of September.

All traffic will be diverted to the eastbound lane with one lane for each direction, and once the northbound culvert is replaced, traffic will alternate to the westbound lane, she said.

Traffic speeds will be cut to 45 mph in the area.

Matriotti Creek’s culvert is one of 996 culverts under roadways that Transportation must replace due to a federal injunction.

The U.S. District Court ordered the state to follow 21 Washington state tribes’ request to follow a treaty to preserve fish runs by repairing or replacing culverts that negatively affect salmon migration.

For more information on the Matriotti Creek culvert, visit wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US101/MatriottiCrkRmv FishBarrier.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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