Doug Adamson, communications, 360-357-2716
MCCLEARY – A project that will help fish move more easily might temporarily create a longer commute. Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation have begun work to improve the flow of Wildcat Creek under State Route 8 near McCleary.
“We understand this may be an inconvenience for some drivers,” said WSDOT Project Engineer John Romero. “We appreciate their patience while we rebuild the streambed and improve access to fish habitat under the highway.”
This work will require two major traffic changes including the closure of the intersection of SR 8 and State Route 108 starting this spring. The intersection will remain closed around the clock through summer 2019.
To create a safe work area and room to build the bridges, WSDOT also will reduce SR 8 in McCleary to one lane in each direction, around the clock for the duration of the two-year project. During the same timeframe, drivers will notice a reduced speed limit from 60 mph to 45 mph.
While the starting date of those restrictions is not yet scheduled, WSDOT will provide advance notification before the intersection closes and the highway is temporarily reconfigured.
Immediate traffic impacts
Beginning 8 a.m. Monday, March 6, crews will close the right lane of westbound SR 8 in the McCleary area. The around-the-clock, right-lane closure will allow crews to stage equipment and install temporary lighting. The right lane will reopen at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 10.
Improving fish passage
The project is part of a larger WSDOT effort to replace culverts that act as a barrier to fish. In addition to building new bridges, crews will also restore creek beds under the highway to improve fish habitat.