Work to expand fish habitat under SR 534 in Skagit County begins July 6

CONWAY– A project that will expand fish habitat in an unnamed tributary to Carpenter Creek under State Route 534 near Conway begins Thursday, July 6.  

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin a $4.6 million project to remove a concrete pipe under the roadway and install a new fish passable structure. The work will take place on SR 534, east of Cedardale and Conway Hill roads.

What can travelers expect?

  • Work hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through late fall 2023.
  • Weekday daytime shoulder closures in the work zone.
  • Single-lane closures with flaggers alternating eastbound and westbound SR 534 traffic.
  • An around-the-clock closure of SR 534 at milepost 0.5 for up to five days in early August. A signed detour using SR 538, Interstate 5, SR 9 and SR 530 will move people around the closure, but people should plan for extra travel time. WSDOT will announce the dates for the closure on the project webpage once they become available.

Fish passage program

This work is necessary to remove barrier culverts in creeks beneath the highways, improve fish passage and reconnect waterways. 

State highways cross streams and rivers in thousands of places in Washington State, which can impede fish migration. WSDOT has worked for nearly three decades to improve fish passage and reconnect streams to help keep waterways healthy. WSDOT fish barrier correction is a priority.

Slow down on ice and snow.

It's easier to skid or lose control traveling at higher speeds. Give yourself more time to stop.

Carry chains, practice installing them.

Winter conditions could mean chains are required on your route. Practice putting them on your vehicle ahead of time.

Pack your winter car kit.

Carry extra supplies like warm clothing, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and other emergency items.