Construction begins June 3 on SR 203 fish barrier removal project south of downtown Carnation

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Work to open over 3,500 feet of potential fish habitat will bring detours and reduced speed limit for travelers this summer

CARNATION – Travelers who use Fall City-Carnation Road Northeast/State Route 203 will want to plan for additional travel time this summer. Construction starts June 3 on a fish barrier removal project that will require a temporary detour near 324th Way Northeast south of downtown Carnation.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will remove an existing culvert and build a new bridge along SR 203 over an unnamed tributary to the Snoqualmie River.

The existing culvert under SR 203 is impassible to fish. Replacing it with a new bridge will open more than 3,500 feet of potential habitat for fish of all life stages. Construction is anticipated to finish in late 2024.

What to expect during construction

Here’s what travelers can expect starting as soon as Monday, June 3:

  • Roughly 300 feet of 324th Way Northeast will close near the intersection of SR 203 and remain closed for the duration of the project.
  • Weekday single-lane closures on SR 203 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Flaggers will alternate traffic through the work zone.
  • A temporary SR 203 detour around the work zone will open in late June with a 25-mph speed limit. Both SR 203 lanes will remain open during nights and weekends when flaggers are not present.
  • A pedestrian and bicycle detour around the work zone using Northeast 16th Street, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and Northeast 24th Street.
  • Later this fall, the intersection of SR 203 and 324th Way Northeast will be realigned to improve visibility for people turning onto the state highway.

Restoring fish habitat

This fish barrier removal project is the fourth of five to begin under a single contract awarded in late 2022. Construction already is under way on the Interstate 90 Sunset Creek fish passage project in Bellevue, and the Skunk Creek fish passage project on SR 202 in Fall City. Crews completed fish barrier removal work last summer on SR 203 north of downtown Carnation.

All five are part of WSDOT’s 2030 Fish Passage Delivery Plan to open 90 percent of habitat blocked by culverts beneath state highways. Each project also is part of WSDOT’s ongoing effort to comply with a 2013 U.S. District Court injunction to correct barriers to salmon and steelhead in western Washington.

As of June 2023, WSDOT has corrected more than 114 barrier culverts subject to the injunction, opening 501 miles of potential salmon and steelhead habitat.

166,800 electric vehicle

registrations in Washington in 2023, up from 114,600 in 2022.

87 wetland compensation sites

actively monitored on 918 acres in 2023.

25,000 safe animal crossings

in the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area since 2014.