Orange traffic barrels line the sides of U.S. Highway 101 at Ennis Creek for preliminary surveys in preparation for upcoming culvert replacement. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Orange traffic barrels line the sides of U.S. Highway 101 at Ennis Creek for preliminary surveys in preparation for upcoming culvert replacement. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Survey work for fish barrier removal begins in Port Angeles

Some lane closures may be necessary from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

PORT ANGELES — The orange traffic barrels lining areas of U.S. Highway 101 on the east side of Port Angeles are for upcoming survey work in preparation for fish barrier removal projects that are expected to be done in 2024 or 2025.

Survey work will help the design contractor — KPFF Consulting Engineers of Seattle — finish the project design and pave the way for the state Department of Transportation to establish a more concrete construction schedule.

Survey work will take place at Ennis Creek, Lees Creek, Tumwater Creek and Chimacum Creek over the coming weeks, according to DOT.

Survey work is expected to take only a day or two and will mostly happen overnight with some lane closures between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., according to DOT.

Surveys at Ennis Creek happened overnight Wednesday.

Work at Tumwater Creek should begin next week and may involve some daytime lane closures, said Mark Krulish, DOT Olympic Region spokesperson.

Work on Lees Creek will begin the following week, Krulish said.

Washington is in the process of removing barriers to fish passages across the western portion of the state, the result of a 2013 federal injunction brought by 21 northwest Washington tribes.

As of June 2023, DOT had corrected 114 barriers, improving access to 502 miles of blocked salmon and steelhead habitat.

An exact schedule for the work in Port Angeles has not been set.

Krulish said replacement work at Chimacum Creek in East Jefferson County will be the first done; that is tentatively set for next summer.

Tumwater Creek will take place sometime after Labor Day.

Replacement work at Lees and Ennis creeks will take place sometime in 2025.

The work is expected to cause significant traffic disruptions as portions of Highway 101 will need to be closed.

The City of Port Angeles has said DOT has secured an agreement to use First Street/Front Street/Marine Drive for the detour for up to nine months.

Steve Roark, DOT Olympic Region administrator, told Clallam County commissioners in October the contractor hopes to have work finished at Tumwater Creek in 80 days.

Fish barrier removal at Lees and Ennis creeks will reduce traffic down to one lane in each direction and is hoped to take about 20 days.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

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