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2-week closure of SR 11 in Bellingham will make fish passage 'just right'

Frances Fedoriska, communications, 206-440-4690

Around-the-clock closure at Old Samish Road begins Monday, Aug. 3

BELLINGHAM – A 24-inch fish culvert funneling Hoags Creek too quickly under State Route 11 near Old Samish Road is about to be removed and replaced. To install the larger passage, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation on this environmental improvement project will close the highway for 14 days starting on Monday, Aug. 3.

Downshift for the detour

The detour route sends traffic onto nearby roads with posted speed limits lower than those on State Route 11. Travelers need to plan for added time to navigate through this area.

Trail access

Throughout this project, the Interurban Trail will remain open, with traffic alternating on the trail at certain times during construction. All trail users need to anticipate longer treks through this area until construction is completed in fall 2020.

Environmental improvement

Removing this small, virtually impassable culvert will increase the connectivity of rivers and streams, opening up miles of habitat to fish and other native species and plants. The benefits of these restoration efforts extend to the industrial and recreational fishing industries in Puget Sound. This project helps WSDOT comply with a federal injunction. Since gaining legislative support in 1991 for the fish passage improvement program, WSDOT has replaced hundreds of culverts that restricted or blocked access to historic spawning and rearing waters for salmon, trout and other species.