Skunk Creek fish barrier removal project in Fall City starts April 1 with long-term closure on Southeast Fish Hatchery Road

A temporary bypass on SR 202 starts later in April for bridge construction.

Construction on a fish barrier removal project near Fall City starts April 1. The project requires a temporary bypass on State Route 202 and a long-term closure on Southeast Fish Hatchery Road.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will build new bridges across Skunk Creek on Southeast Fish Hatchery Road and SR 202 near Southeast 46th Street. The new bridges will restore natural stream conditions in Skunk Creek, which drains to the Snoqualmie River.

Existing narrow culverts beneath Southeast Fish Hatchery Road and SR 202 are impassable to fish. Replacing them with new bridges will open 1.7 miles of potential upstream habitat for fish at all life stages.

What to expect during construction

Southeast Fish Hatchery Road will close at 7 a.m. on Monday, April 1, near Skunk Creek between 361st Avenue Southeast and 356th Drive Southeast. Local access will be permitted on either side of the closure.

Bridge construction on SR 202 will begin in mid-to-late April following the completion of a temporary bypass around the work zone. Both lanes of SR 202 will remain open during construction, but the speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph.

SR 202 will return to its original configuration by late August. Soon afterward, construction will begin on Southeast Fish Hatchery Road, remaining closed until the new bridge across that road is complete in late 2024.

Restoring fish habitat

This fish barrier removal project is one of three planned on SR 202 and 203 within 18 months. Last summer, contractor crews installed a new culvert on SR 203 that restored natural stream conditions on an unnamed tributary to Horseshoe Lake. Work on a fish barrier removal project on SR 203 near 324th Way Northeast in Carnation will begin later this spring.

All three projects are part of WSDOT’s 2030 Fish Passage Delivery Plan, which aims to open 90 percent of habitat blocked by culverts beneath state highways. Each project is also part of WSDOT’s ongoing effort to comply with a 2013 U.S. District Court injunction to correct barriers to salmon and steelhead in western Washington.

As of June 1, 2023, the most recent data available, WSDOT has corrected more than 114 barrier culverts subject to the injunction, opening 501 miles of salmon and steelhead habitat.

[Information provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)]

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