August closure planned for Blaine Road

By Oliver Lazenby

The Washington State Department of Transportation is preparing to replace a culvert beneath Blaine Road that will likely close both lanes for a few days later this month.

The project will allow salmon and other species of fish to accuss a couple of miles of habitat in an unnamed creek between Hall Road and Hoyt Street, just south of Dakota Creek.

WSDOT’s website says it will require a three-day closure. Spokesperson Marqise Allen said it will likely be closed sometime August 15 to 19.

The project could take weeks and will also require single-lane closures, but it must be completed by August 31 to not interfere with fish runs.

Crews will replace an existing 3-foot diameter culvert with a 12-foot-wide, 6-foot-tall box culvert.

They’ll also need to repave the highway after installing the new culvert. Tiger Construction is doing the work, according to WSDOT.

U.S. District Court for Western Washington ruled in 2013 that the state must not build or operate culverts that hinder fish passage under state road.

The culvert on Blaine road is one of 850 in the state that are subject to that ruling.

The city of Blaine must also relocate some utility lines to accommodate the project.

“For us it’s not really a big issue at all. It’s just a standard utility relocate,” said Bill Bullock, assistant public works director.

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