SR 11 - Hoag's Creek - Fish Passage

Project news

  • Crews will close SR 11/Chuckanut Drive just north of Old Samish Road Aug. 3-17, 2020 to safely complete this work. A signed detour will be in place.
  • Construction will affect north entrance access to the Interurban Trail from Aug. 3-17, 2020.
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Needs & Benefits

Hoag’s Creek runs under State Route 11/Chuckanut Drive near the junction with Old Samish Road in Bellingham. The current 24-inch concrete culvert is too small and too high from the surface of the creek, which is blocking movement of fish, such as coastal cutthroat trout and steelhead. Contractor crews will replace this barrier with a 12-foot round culvert that will allow fish and other aquatic species to use nearly a mile of habitat upstream for the first time in nearly a century.

WSDOT has long recognized the importance of minimizing transportation’s effect on our environment. In 1991, WSDOT gained legislative support to create a program dedicated to correcting barriers that restrict or block salmon and trout access to historic spawning and rearing grounds.

Removing a single barrier can improve fish access for miles both upstream and downstream. When rivers and streams are connected, fish can better access the habitat they need. This is an important component of protecting and restoring fish populations, which can have multiple benefits - including for the commercial and recreational fishing industries and for orca food supplies in the Puget Sound.

What to expect

Contractor crews will close SR 11/Chuckanut Drive for two weeks starting Aug. 3, 2020 to remove this fish barrier and install the new culvert. This closure will affect drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. The northern access point to the Interurban Trail where SR 11 splits with Old Samish Road, will be closed during the 2-week closure of the highway. Environmental regulations require this work to be done during a six-week window when fish migration is least likely. Before this closure, crews will alternate traffic and bicycles through the area as they prepare for construction and stage equipment. After this closure, crews will alternate traffic and bicycles through the area as they complete construction and remove equipment.

WSDOT recognizes that this highway is a popular summer route and is working with city of Bellingham, Visit Bellingham, neighbors, businesses and the cycling community to share information on this extended closure, avoid large events and communicate the detour route.

Timeline

December 2019: Advertise project for competitive bidding
March 2020: Project awarded to Tiger Construction, Ltd.
Summer 2020: Start construction
Aug. 3-17, 2020: Two-week closure of SR 11/Chuckanut Drive at Old Samish Road
Fall 2020: Project scheduled to be complete

Funding

The current estimated total project cost is $3.4 million. Funding will come from the Connecting Washington transportation package and other federal and state sources

Contact

Frances Fedoriska
Communications
206-440-4690
Frances.Fedoriska@wsdot.wa.gov 

Melissa Ambler
Project Engineer
360-788-7406
Melissa.Ambler@wsdot.wa.gov

State Route 11, Hoag's Creek Fish Passage
A map of where Hoag's Creek runs under SR 11 in Bellingham.

A small photo of the current culvert that Hoag's Creek runs through under SR 11.
A photo of the current culvert that Hoag's Creek runs through under SR 11.

A large photo of where Hoag's Creek runs under SR 11/Chuckanut Drive.

A photo of where Hoag's Creek runs under SR 11/Chuckanut Drive.