Local Information

SR 530 project resumes with work at Trafton Creek east of Arlington

Friday, May 8, 2020 - 11:22

Tom Pearce, communications, 206-492-9555

New culvert will improve fish passage under highway

ARLINGTON – Work to build a one-lane bypass on State Route 530 will mark the beginning of a major summer project to improve fish passage under the highway between Arlington and Darrington.

Starting as soon as May 13, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin building the roughly 2,000-foot long bypass lane just east of Arnot Road near Trafton Creek. When it is complete in mid-June, traffic will shift onto the bypass for about 16 weeks. Temporary traffic signals will control vehicle use of the bypass.

With traffic on the bypass, crews will replace an old culvert that stops salmon and other fish from continuing upstream in Trafton Creek. The work is a continuation of last summer’s project in the same area, when crews replaced a culvert under the highway at Schoolyard Creek.

“Trafton Creek is much deeper under the highway than Schoolyard Creek, so it will take longer to do this work,” WSDOT Project Engineer Mikkel Lamay said. “It’s important to keep this part of the highway open for people and businesses who rely on it daily. The bypass allows us to do that.”

Travelers should plan ahead
People who use this portion of SR 530 should allow additional travel time during construction. The one-lane Trafton bypass will be much longer than last year’s at Schoolyard Creek, so delays could range from five to 10 minutes. The temporary traffic signals can be adjusted for special events to assist peak-hour traffic in either direction.

Improving conditions for salmon and other species
The existing Trafton Creek culvert under SR 530 is about two feet above the downstream creek bed. Salmon returning to spawn cannot make that leap to continue upstream. The new culvert will create a more natural streambed, letting migratory and resident fish travel up and downstream more easily. It will open an additional 3.5 miles of habitat and salmon spawning grounds to support growing fish populations in the Salish Sea.

This $17.6 million project is largely funded by the Connecting Washington program that the state Legislature approved in 2015. The work is part of the WSDOT’s larger effort to improve fish passage under state highways.

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