Work to open fish habitat under US 101 begins Feb. 3 at Leland Creek

Olympic Peninsula travelers will need to plan for extra travel time

QUILCENE – A busy construction season in Jefferson County begins Friday, Feb. 3, on US 101. Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will start a one-year project that corrects culverts that are barriers to native fish at Leland Creek and two unnamed tributaries near Leland Valley Cut-Off Road.

Crews from SB Structures, LLC. will start by installing a temporary traffic signal on US 101 near the worksite, about five miles north of Quilcene. Once the signal is activated in mid-February, travelers will see around-the-clock one-way alternating traffic on US 101. This will continue until crews build a temporary bypass around the construction site.

In mid-March, traffic will shift onto the temporary bypass, which will remain in place for approximately four to six months. Travelers will continue to see one-way alternating traffic controlled by the temporary signal on the bypass.

Project details and future closures

Crews are replacing outdated barriers that block fish from continuing upstream at three locations with a new bridge on US 101 just north of Rice Lake Road and two larger box culverts at the north and south unnamed tributaries.

To construct the new box culverts, a portion of US 101 will close for three to four weeks between mid-July and mid-August. During the closure, traffic will detour around the project via Center Road. Freight haulers will need to detour via US 101, State Route 3 and State Route 104 due to weight restrictions on the Little Quilcene Bridge. WSDOT will announce the closure dates on the project page once they are available.

Improving Fish Passage

The construction is part of WSDOT’s program to remove barriers to fish under state highways.

The new bridge at Leland Creek will open 14 miles of upstream habitat to improve fish migration. The new box culverts at the north and southern tributaries will produce nearly four miles of upstream habitat. Construction is expected to be complete in early 2024.

Travelers are encouraged to sign up for email updates for projects in Clallam and Jefferson Counties. Real-time traffic information is available on the WSDOT app and travel center map.

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In 2022, speeding continued to be a top reason for work zone crashes.

Even one life lost is too many.

Each year about 670 people are killed nationally in highway work zones. In 2022, Washington had six fatal work zone crashes on state roads.

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