UPDATE | JULY 23rd, 4PM
WSDOT now says SR 203 between Carnation and Duvall will only be closed for one month starting Sunday, July 26th. [See below original article for project details.]
There is also another road closure that will impact the same area immediately following the completion of the month-long SR 203 culvert road project.
According to King County Roads Services, once the Loutsis Creek culvert construction is complete, WSDOT will reopen SR 203 and King County Road Services will close West Snoqualmie Valley Road NE – between NE 124th Street and NE Woodinville Duvall Road – from approximately August 27th – September 17th for a separate culvert replacement project.
The county said local access will be maintained, but all other travelers should plan to use an alternate route, such as SR 203, to drive around the closure. WSDOT and King County are coordinating closely to ensure the two culvert replacement project closures will not overlap.
For both WSDOT and King County projects: NE Novelty Hill Road and NE 124th Street will remain open during construction, and West Snoqualmie Valley Road NE will be open in both directions south of NE 124th Street.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced starting Sunday, July 26, SR 203 will close between Carnation and Duvall for one month. Drivers should expected added travel times through the area. [At original publish date WSDOT estimated the closure would be nearly 6-weeks, but that has since been scaled back.]
WSDOT said it is coordinating with King County to ensure drivers can use West Snoqualmie Valley Road as a detour during the extended, 38-day closure.
SR 203 is currently scheduled to reopen September 1st.
During the closure contractor crews will replace a culvert that carries Loutsis Creek under the highway to improve passage for native and migratory fish.
Loutsis Creek currently goes through a 5-foot culvert under SR 203 just south of Duvall. WSDOT explained at times it is difficult for fish to navigate the culvert because water levels get too low or move too fast.
The long closure is necessary because crews will first need to dig out the culvert located 40 feet below the roadway, then build a new, larger structure – and finally put the roadway back on top.
WSDOT said the environmental improvement project will enhance fish runs and open an additional 3.1 miles of habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures.
The project is required to comply with the 2013 federal court injunction mandating the state “to significantly increase the effort for removing state-owned culverts that block habitat for salmon and steelhead by 2030.”
The estimated project cost is $8.2 million and is funded by state and federal dollars.