State to rebuild Blaine Road fish culvert

Published on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 by By Tara Nelson

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Crews will replace this 6-foot culvert underneath Blaine Road with a more fish-friendly one this summer.

Crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will replace a culvert beneath Blaine Road (SR 548) this summer to allow fish to move through it more easily.

Beginning this July 4, crews will replace the 6-foot wide culvert near Kickerville Road with a larger, more fish-friendly one.
The new culvert will better mimic a natural stream bed with rocks, gravel and sand, WSDOT project manager Chris Damitio said.

Damitio said when Terrell Creek is flowing swiftly, the undersized culvert beneath Blaine Road pumps water like a fire hose. And when the creek is calm, the culvert sits several feet out of the water. Either way, it blocks fish trying to reach spawning grounds.

“Fish can’t get through the culvert,” Damitio said. “We’re talking about a 2-foot drop in the summer, and in the winter the velocity of water pumping through the culvert is like a fire hose. But when we’re done, they’ll be able to reach their spawning grounds.”

The project comes as a result of a push by community groups, state agencies and local businesses to restore Terrell Creek and its surrounding watershed and because Puget Sound steelhead, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, are among the fish that depend on Terrell Creek for habitat.

WSDOT recently hired KLB Construction, Inc. for $672,000 to replace the culvert. The section of road will be closed for approximately 18 days.