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Ditching an old culvert to improve fish passage in Lynden

RB McKeon, communications, 360-757-5963 Melissa Ambler, project engineer, 360-788-7400

60-hour closure and detour of SR 546/East Badger Road begins Sept. 27

LYNDEN – Construction on a new fish passable culvert at Kamm Ditch, located on State Route 546 (East Badger Road) just east of Northwood Road, is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 27, and travelers in the area should plan ahead for a road closure. In addition, crews will begin initial work of bringing in supplies and equipment and surveying the week of Sept. 20, when travelers can expect intermittent single-lane closures in both directions of SR 546 between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the week.

Kamm Ditch is a drainage channel that is home to several species of salmon. The existing 6-by-4 foot box culvert beneath the highway blocks fish from continuing upstream. Contractor crews from Granite Construction, working on behalf of the Washington State Department of Transportation, will replace that culvert with a new, larger one that opens up for than a half mile of fish habitat and simulates a more natural stream environment that is more suitable to native fish. The new 14-by-8 foot culvert also includes additional walls around the opening to protect the opening and help guard against erosion.

Plan for traffic detour along SR 546 To complete this work, crews will fully close SR 546 at milepost 4.21 just east of Northwood Road for 60 consecutive hours beginning Sept. 27 until Oct. 1. A marked detour using other state routes is available to move traffic around the work zone. Travelers can expect to see advance warning signs posted in the area five days before the closure begins so they can plan their route and adjust their travel time. The latest information also will be shared on the SR 546 - Kamm Ditch Fish Passage project web page and through weekly email updates.

Expanding fish habitat Highways like SR 546 cross streams and rivers in thousands of places across Washington, which can impede fish migration. For nearly three decades, WSDOT has worked to improve fish passage and will continue to pursue projects that reconnect streams, help keep waterways healthy and restore habitat.

This project is expected to be complete this fall.