Crewsbegin repair of Blaine Road

Published on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 by ara Nelson

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Crews begin repair of Blaine Road

By Tara Nelson

Drivers who use Blaine Road will need to seek alternative routes for the next few weeks as construction crews will close a section of road between Grandview and Bay roads through most of August.

Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) crews will close lanes in both directions to replace a rusting culvert under the highway at Terrell Creek, a project that will also improve safety for drivers.

The project involves replacing a rusting steel pipe that blocks fish from moving upstream in Terrell Creek with a wide, concrete box culvert that will be installed to mimic a natural streambed.

Puget Sound steelhead, recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, are among the fish that depend on Terrell Creek for habitat.

The completed project should also protect the highway from erosion caused by water flowing out of holes in the culvert and pooling around it.

Damaged culverts can create sinkholes and cause roads to crumble, officials said.

“The culvert was going to have to be replaced eventually because of rust,” said Marco Foster, a WSDOT engineering manager. “Coupled with the fact that it is a high priority for fish – that’s what got the project funded.”

While working on Terrell Creek WSDOT will take the opportunity to improve driver safety by leveling a section of the road. Cars are obscured from other drivers’ view when they travel through a dip in the existing road.

DOT spokesperson Dusting Terpening said the construction began last Wednesday and will continue for 43 days, weather permitting.