What you need to know about the Highway 3 construction project

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It will take two years of construction on Highway 3 near Chico Way to remove the culverts that block the passage of salmon on Chico Creek.

And this work begins on Monday.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced this spring that it was ready to launch a $ 58 million project that will remove box culverts that prevent fish from accessing up to 21 miles of habitat by upstream. This week, he announced that he was ready and that work could start as early as Monday.

Following:“Herculean Effort” will build a new bridge on Route 3 over Chico Creek

Here’s what you need to know on the eve of the project:

1. How will the traffic be affected?

The WSDOT said in a press release Thursday that travelers using both directions of the freeway would see lanes shifted to the outer shoulders of Freeway 3.

“This will allow crews to create a work area to build a new SR 3 bridge over Chico Creek,” according to the press release.

In addition, the access ramps and exits to Chico Way in both directions of the highway will have to be closed occasionally throughout the project as the work progresses. The first closings will be Thursday: the southbound exit will close from 7 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday, while the northbound exit will close from 8 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday. According to the WSDOT, travelers can expect nightly lane and shoulder closures as they approach the interchange.

Initially, crews will do much of the work requiring exit closures at night to minimize the impact on drivers, said Doug Adamson, spokesperson for WSDOT. Alerts on when exits will be closed will be communicated through signs on the project site as well as email updates and on the project web page at wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr3 / chico-creek / home.

2. What is the anticipated impact on drivers?

Adamson said traffic should always be on the jobsite and drivers don’t need to expect to be stopped for long periods of time during the two years of construction.

“When we selected the designer-builder for this job, we asked them to come up with a plan that would minimize the effect on travelers, and that’s what we’re getting here,” Adamson said.

He noted that there will still be two lanes of traffic in each direction of the highway, although the staggered lanes will be narrowed.

“It’s not something where you will see a lane in each direction for months,” he said.

WSDOT planners understand the amount of traffic passing through the corridor and strive to keep vehicles moving.

“We know how the community has grown and how traffic has increased in the area,” he said, adding “we are really working to get people moving. We understand the needs of people to get to work and to school and drop off their children. “

3. What will the project look like when completed?

The state released this diagram showing its plans for a $ 58.3 million construction of two bridges that will improve fish passage at Chico Creek.

The project will recanalize Chico Creek and one of its unnamed tributaries, adding a 222-foot-long raised bridge over the highway and building an additional bridge over nearby Chico Way.

Adamson said initial work will focus on the highway itself, where a bridge will be built.

The new bridges are expected to eliminate one of the last bottlenecks for salmon moving up Chico Creek. State officials estimate that up to 15% of migrating fish fail to do so because of existing culverts.

4. How is the project paid?

Washington State has received a court order to replace approximately 1,000 culverts around the state that impede fish passage by 2030. This is necessary to comply with treaty obligations with the tribes of the west of Washington in the 1850s. The $ 58 million needed to complete the project came from funds from the Legislative Assembly’s Fish Barrier Removal Program.

5. What can you do?

Adamson said drivers can keep traffic flowing and protect workers’ lives by focusing on the road.

“There are people out there working on the road, and they deserve to come home at the end of the day,” Adamson said.

“Stop the distractions, put the cell phone down,” he added, urging drivers to “really focus on what they’re doing”.

Kitsap Sun Archives contributed to this report.

Kimberly Rubenstein is the local editor-in-chief of Kitsap Sun. She can be reached at [email protected] or 360-792-5263. Support local news coverage by signing up for a digital subscription today.


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