Work wraps up at two fish barrier projects in Jefferson County

QUILCENE – It was a busy summer in Jefferson County opening habitats for local fish. Two big projects, one on US 101 and the other on State Route 104 and SR 19, have wrapped up.

Contractors working for the Washington State Department of Transportation began in February 2023 to replace a culvert beneath US 101 at Leland Creek near Quilcene with a new bridge. The roadway at the Leland Creek site reopened to two-way traffic on Thursday, Nov. 9. Crews are currently finishing up work off the roadway, such as landscaping. Some of that work is weather-sensitive. It should be completed by mid-December except for some railing that will be installed in January.

Crews also replaced culverts at two unnamed tributaries to Leland Creek further north on US 101 with new box culverts. As part of that work, the roadway was closed between Leland Valley Road and Leland Cut Off Road for 19 days. The roadway reopened on Aug. 19.

In total, 14 miles of new habitat is now open for Chinook, coho salmon, steelhead and bull trout.

Shine and Swansonville creeks

Up near Port Ludlow, WSDOT contractors began the replacement of two more culverts – one at Shine Creek on SR 104 and one at Swansonville Creek on SR 19. At both locations,18-foot-wide, three-sided culverts replaced much smaller culverts.

The project featured a 10-day closure of SR 19 just south of Swansonville Road. The roadway reopened Friday, Sept. 15.

Removing the two barriers resulted in 5 miles of new habitat gain at the two sites. Workers completed that project on Friday, Nov. 10.

Improving fish passage

These projects are part of WSDOT’s program to remove barriers to fish under state highways.

WSDOT would like to thank the community and travelers for their patience this past summer as the work added travel time and extra planning for all highway users. There will be more work ahead in 2024. WSDOT will share project information for upcoming work after schedules are developed and finalized.

Travelers can receive email updates about roadwork on state highways in Jefferson County. Real-time information is available via the WSDOT app and WSDOT Travel Center Map.

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