Fish project reaches halfway point; eastbound SR 16 traffic shift up next
GIG HARBOR – An important milestone for fish in Purdy Creek and travelers on State Route 16 is coming mid-August, including a traffic shift.
Crews have finished building the first of two new 206-foot-long bridges that replace old culverts under the highway. With this work complete, SR 16 westbound lanes from Gig Harbor to Port Orchard can be shifted off the center of the highway and onto the new bridge. Construction crews will make that shift during the week of Aug. 14.
Up next: Eastbound SR 16
Once the westbound bridge is open to traffic, crews will prepare for shifting the eastbound travel lanes. Work will begin to reconfigure the temporary median lanes.
Creating the new alignment will take a few weeks to complete. When grading and repaving are finished, crews will shift eastbound SR 16 to the center of the highway. This will make room for construction of the new eastbound bridge. The new, temporary configuration will have the eastbound SR 16 travel lanes about 10 feet below the westbound bridge.
A temporary regulatory speed limit reduction also will be in place on eastbound SR 16 through the work zone, dropping from 60 mph to 45 mph between mileposts 17.15 and 18. The speed limit is enforceable as soon as the signs are uncovered. The reduced speed limit and traffic shift will remain in place until the project is complete by the end of 2024.
Update on work at SR 302 Spur
The SR 302 Spur remains closed between Purdy Lane Northwest and 144th Street Northwest. Earlier this month, crews finished installing the piers for the bridge that will replace the culvert under the road. Work to rebuild the streambed is underway. The contractor expects to complete the new bridge and reopen the road by the end of 2023.
Improving fish passage
The construction is part of WSDOT’s program to remove barriers to fish under state highways to help them better travel through waterways during migration. Purdy Creek under SR 16 and the SR 302 Spur currently has undersized culverts that are barriers to fish migration. Purdy Creek is home to native fish species including Chinook salmon and chum salmon. Coho salmon, sculpin and coastal cutthroat and steelhead trout are also found in the stream.
WSDOT urges drivers to slow down and pay attention in work zones to keep all roadway users safe.
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