CARNATION – Both directions of State Route 203 north of Carnation will close the weekend of Sept. 15-18 for a fish passage barrier removal project on a tributary to Horseshoe Lake.
The unnamed tributary to the Horseshoe Lake watershed runs beneath SR 203 near Northeast Carnation Farm Road north of downtown Carnation and east of the Snoqualmie River. Fish cannot swim through the culvert due to its narrow size, so crews will remove it and replace it with a fish-passable culvert.
Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close SR 203 at Northeast Carnation Farm Road from 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, until 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 18. A signed detour will guide travelers around the closure.
What to expect during construction
Since late August, SR 203 has been reduced to one lane weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with flaggers alternating traffic through the work zone. This configuration will continue until Friday, Sept. 15, when the full closure begins.
During the full closure, the signed detour will direct traffic around the work zone via Northeast Carnation Farm Road, Ames Lake - Carnation Road Northeast, West Snoqualmie Valley Road Northeast and Northeast 124th Street. SR 203 will remain open for local access between Northeast 124th Street and the tributary to Horseshoe Lake just north of Northeast Carnation Farm Road throughout the weekend.
The weekday, single-lane closures will likely resume for the week of Monday, Sept. 18. Crews will use those daytime lane closures to complete landscaping and other work around the new culvert.
Fish barrier program
This is work is part of a larger project to correct four fish passage barriers on SR 202 and 203 during the next 18 months. They are part of WSDOT’s 2030 Fish Passage Delivery Plan to open 90 percent of habitat blocked by culverts beneath state highways. The state has corrected hundreds of barriers and restored access to more than 1,000 miles of fish habitat since the program started in 1991.
WSDOT also has worked to comply with the requirements of a 2013 U.S. District Court injunction to correct barriers to salmon and steelhead in western Washington. As of June 1, 2023, WSDOT has corrected 114 barrier culverts subject to the injunction and opened 501 miles of blocked salmon and steelhead habitat.