Local Information

There’s nothing fishy about a 68-mile detour for SR 9 in July

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 15:26

RB McKeon, communications, 360-757-5963
Melissa Ambler, project engineer, 360-788-7400

Fish passage work at Landingstrip Creek in Whatcom County later this summer requires travelers to detour

ACME – Beginning in mid-July, work to make it easier for fish to continue upstream will mean a detour of up to 68 miles for people who use State Route 9 in central Whatcom County.

During the four-day closure, contractor crews from Barcott Construction working on behalf of the Washington State Department of Transportation will replace a culvert underneath SR 9 south of Acme, where an unnamed tributary runs to Landingstrip Creek in Whatcom County.

Traffic detour along SR 9
A continuous 96-hour, full closure of SR 9 between Maleng and Rothenbuhler roads is anticipated to occur in late July during a single workweek, Monday through Thursday. This closure is necessary to allow crews to excavate the existing roadway, remove the existing culvert, install the new culvert and rebuild the roadway.  

People traveling in this area can expect intermittent shoulder and single lane closures on SR 9 with flaggers directing traffic through the work zone.  

This closure requires a 68 mile detour that will use SR 9, SR 20, Interstate 5 and SR 542.

To help people traveling, advance warning signs will be placed along SR 9 two weeks prior to the full roadway closure. By the end of the 96-hour closure, at least one lane of SR 9 will reopen for traffic.

Expanding fish habitat
The existing 30-inch diameter culvert along this unnamed tributary blocks fish from continuing upstream. Barcott Construction will install a new 14- by 10-foot split box culvert that will open up 1.34 miles of upstream fish habitat.

Highways like SR 9 cross streams and rivers in thousands of places across Washington, which can impede fish migration. For nearly three decades, WSDOT has worked to improve fish passage and will continue to pursue projects that reconnect streams, help keep waterways healthy and restore habitat.

This project is expected to be complete this fall. People who travel can get real-time traffic information about this and other projects on the WSDOT traffic app and by following @wsdot_north on Twitter. The latest information including construction photos, will be available on the project web page and shared through weekly email updates.

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