MALTBY – Dating can be hard, even for local steelhead and salmon. However, they’ll have a much easier time finding love this time next year with the replacement of a culvert underneath State Route 524 this weekend.
Washington Department of Transportation contractor crews from KLB Construction will replace the culvert that channels Great Dane Creek starting the night of Friday, Aug. 3. The work will require a three-day full closure of SR 524/Maltby Road just west of the SR 9 intersection. People may need to adjust their travel plans due to the closure depending on their travel plans.
“We do a lot to improve our highways for vehicle travel, but maintaining and improving our environment is critical too,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Dave Lindberg. “This project may not shorten your commute, but it will go a long ways towards improving local fish runs. And we want to thank drivers in advance for their patience during the closure.”
Closure details and detours The highway will be closed to all traffic from 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. Aug. 6. A signed detour will help people navigate around the closure using SR 9 and nearby local roads.
Improving fish passage Replacing the existing narrow culvert with a new 19-by 8-foot culvert will improve stream flows for local salmon and steelhead, opening up more than four and a half miles of new fish spawning habitat. The existing culvert channels water in a way that makes it too shallow or too strong for fish to travel upstream during certain times of the year.
The Great Dane Creek fish passage is one of 1,000 culverts statewide affected by a 2013 U.S. District Court ruling requiring the removal of state-owned culverts that act as a barrier to salmon and steelhead by 2030.
This $1.5 million project is paid for entirely from Connecting Washington funding.