Travelers will use temporary bypass road while crews replace culvert
PORT ANGELES – An outdated culvert under US 101 at Indian Creek has impeded the movement of salmon and other fish from traveling upstream for years. Now a Washington State Department of Transportation project to replace that culvert will mean a lower speed limit and a temporary traffic signal about 10 miles west of Port Angeles.
WSDOT’s construction partner, Scarsella Bros., Inc., is scheduled to begin work Monday, Feb. 7, on building a temporary bypass road to keep people moving. When the bypass opens to travelers in early spring of 2022, crews will remove the existing culvert and replace it with a 180-foot concrete girder bridge for improved fish migration.
“Indian Creek is a tributary to the Elwha River,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Dan McKernan. “Once the new bridge is built, it will restore 11 miles of potential habitat for Chinook, sockeye, coho, bull trout and steelhead salmon that travel and spawn in the area.”
What travelers can expect
There will be intermittent lane and shoulder closures while crews construct the bypass road to allow heavy equipment to enter or exit the work zone. When the bypass road opens to traffic, the speed limit through the area will be reduced to 25 mph and a temporary signal will alternate travelers in one direction at a time. Any full highway closures will be announced in advance.
Work will take place just west of Herrick Road in Clallam County. The project is slated to wrap up in spring of 2023.
A restored Indian Creek
WSDOT has spent nearly three decades improving fish passage and reconnecting streams to keep waterways healthy. Field biologists estimate Indian Creek is only 30 percent passable. This project builds upon WSDOT’s commitment to replace the nearly 100-year-old US 101 Elwha River Bridge farther east, which is expected to begin in fall of 2022.