*Note: We were informed by a person involved in this project that an earlier version of this story misrepresented the southern exit of the stream in question. The graphic has been adjusted to reflect the current path of the stream as described.
Road work is continuing on Highway 12 near Montesano, and the last portion of this project will likely have the largest impact on drivers.
The Washington State Department of Transportation says that the final phase of a 7-mile paving project that has been underway since May starts on Monday, July 9.
Crews will begin to remove and replace a culvert west of town sitting in an unnamed stream that serves as a tributary to the Wynoochee River, and the project will last through the fall.
Highway 12 will be temporarily reduced to a single lane in each direction west of Devonshire Road and the speed limit will be reduced from 60 mph to 25 mph through the construction zone.
The temporary traffic configuration allows crews room to excavate and replace the current culvert with a 220-foot long concrete box that will open up two miles of potential fish habitat.
“This is a big effort to correct an existing fish barrier under the highway,” said WSDOT Project Engineer John Romero. “We are extremely grateful for the publics’ patience and attentiveness while traveling in a safe manner through the work zone.”
The culvert work is part of WSDOT’s Fish Passage Barrier Correction Program that identifies, removes and replaces barriers to fish.