The Washington State Department of Transportation has provided an update on fish passage work occurring from Montesano to the county line.
According to officials, big progress has been made on the ongoing fish barrier removal project in Grays Harbor.
At the start of January, crews set girders on the first of nine bridges they are building to correct barriers to fish at four locations.
All of these projects are located under US 12 and State Route 8.
During the month, girders were also set at a second location near Elma.
“Placing the girders is literally a big job. After that’s complete, we start the process towards completing bridge construction.”
Coming soon, numerous westbound rolling slowdowns will occur on US 12 near Montesano as girders will be placed on the first of three bridges at Camp Creek.
That work will require daytime rolling slowdowns with traffic holds of 15 minutes in the westbound lane of US 12.
During the slowdowns, crews use a crane to remove girders from a truck in the westbound lane.
A total of seven girders are scheduled to be set the week of Feb. 5.
An exact date is not yet set, but WSDOT says that work will be completed in one day.
A location on SR 8 east of McCleary won’t have a bridge and won’t need the girder placement, but instead, a large concrete culvert will be placed.
In summer 2024 and 2025, crews will perform any work that has to take place in the water.
“There is a limited time frame they are allowed to do this that is determined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. We call it a “fish window.” This is when working in the water will be the least disruptive to aquatic life. The fish window is not the same at every fish passage job but is usually in mid to late summer. In this case, the fish window is from July 16 to Sept. 30. Because we are building at least two bridges at each location, two summers are needed to complete the work in the water.”
After the work in-water is complete, crews will reconfigure the crossover lanes to allow travelers to shift to the opposite side of the road. Then crews do the same work that happened over the past year on the other side.
They will build new bridges at four locations and install the other half of the structure at the fifth location. Once work in the water on the other side of the highway is complete, crews will start work to move the travel lanes back to their original location.
The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2025.
Similar work is occurring throughout the state following efforts to comply with a federal court injunction (PDF 11.5MB).