Submitted by Washington State Department of Transportation
Two big bridges built. Two more to go. Weather permitting, the extensive and continuing effort to remove barriers to fish on Wildcat Creek in McCleary soon will bring new changes for drivers using both directions of State Route 8.
“This is a big effort, so we are immensely grateful for drivers’ patience,” said John Romero, a project engineer with the Washington State Department of Transportation. “We’re also happy to report the work is scheduled to wrap up on time by spring 2019.”
WSDOT has kept traffic moving through the work zone by reconfiguring westbound SR 8 to accommodate both directions of traffic. Crews soon will reverse that configuration and put both directions of traffic onto eastbound SR 8.
That traffic shift will take place in phases as early as Friday, Dec. 8. For a short time, drivers will use the right lanes of both westbound and eastbound SR 8. Eventually all traffic will be on the reconfigured eastbound lanes. The road will then remain in that configuration for approximately 12 months.
In the event of inclement weather, the work and traffic shift will be postponed.
Removing barriers to fish at this location requires WSDOT to build bridges that span up to 160 feet. Replacing existing culverts with the bridges allows fish to more easily pass through this portion of the creek. The Middle Fork and East Fork streambeds are also being restored to help enhance fish habitat.
The intersection of SR 8 and SR 108 remains closed through project completion.
The project is part of a larger WSDOT effort to replace culverts that act as barriers to fish. In addition to building new bridges, crews will also restore creek beds under the highway to improve fish habitat.