U.S. Highway 101 crosses Siebert Creek east of Port Angeles, with the eastbound lanes using an elevated span while westbound traffic passes over a concrete culvert beneath the roadway. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

U.S. Highway 101 crosses Siebert Creek east of Port Angeles, with the eastbound lanes using an elevated span while westbound traffic passes over a concrete culvert beneath the roadway. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Culvert work to disrupt US Highway 101 traffic

$30.6 million project to improve fish passage

Crews this month will begin a $30.6 million project to improve fish passage at Bagley and Siebert creeks along U.S. Highway 101 between Port Angeles and Sequim.

Drivers can expect a reduced speed limit and shifted lanes through fall 2021, state officials said.

The work begins today, Wednesday, May 13, state Department of Transportation (DOT) spokeswoman Tina Werner said in a press release.

“Work will occur in phases, and drivers will see construction crews primarily during weekdays during daytime hours for safety concerns,” Werner said.

Crews will remove five existing culverts and replace them with full-span bridges or larger concrete-box culverts to improve fish passage and increase the likelihood of fish migration in a more natural creek environment, Werner said.

The project will open up 41 miles of habitat in the two creeks for chinook and coho salmon, steelhead and trout, Werner said.

The new speed limit will be enforceable as soon as signs are installed, and will be located between highway milepost 253 and 257.3.

Bagley Creek flows into a concrete culvert beneath James Page Road and U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles on April 29. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Bagley Creek flows into a concrete culvert beneath James Page Road and U.S. Highway 101 east of Port Angeles on April 29. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

The work is part of DOT’s ongoing effort to improve fish passage under state highways.

DOT is under a 2013 federalcourt injunction to remove state-owned culverts that impede salmon migration in much of Western Washington by 2030.

“This one is a very large project,” Werner said of the Siebert and Bagley creek culverts.

“It is a top priority for our Olympic Region team.”

DOT awarded a construction contract to Kent-based Scarsella Brothers, Inc., in March.

Scarsella Brothers is the same contractor that widened a 3.5-mile, two-lane section of U.S. Highway 101 between Port Angeles and Sequim in 2014.

At Bagley Creek, crews will remove a buried culvert and replace it with a six-lane, concrete girder bridge accommodating two travel lanes in each direction plus shoulders.

Three smaller culverts also will be replaced at nearby James Page Road and Bagley Creek Road.

“Really, a lot of what drivers will see is lot of the road will be dug up at Bagley Creek,” Werner said.

At Siebert Creek, a box culvert serving the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101 will be removed and replaced with a concrete girder bridge.

Eastbound highway traffic is already served by a two-lane span over Siebert Creek.

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