Community Environment Transportation

Purdy fish passage work delayed until spring

Posted on November 16th, 2022 By:

The fish passage project that will close the Highway 302 spur in Purdy has been postponed until early spring, weather permitting, according to state Transportation Department spokeswoman Cara Mitchell.

A contractor for the state will swap out an old concrete box culvert for a 77-foot-long bridge where the creek goes under the highway and empties into Burley Lagoon.

Culvert taking Purdy Creek under the Highway 302 spur.

Culvert taking Purdy Creek under the Highway 302 spur.

Paving work is the holdup

The project will require improving Purdy Drive, a little side road that runs parallel and a short distance to the east of the spur, to use as a detour route. That includes repaving and improving the shoulders.

State officials expected to begin paving the road to withstand 12,000 vehicles per day on Aug. 1. The unavailability of a portable traffic signal, needed at the intersection of Purdy Drive and 144th Street, forced a delay until fall. Now officials have postponed work until warmer weather arrives in the spring. The detour will be in place for approximately one year.

The state Fish and Wildlife Department says the culvert obstructs 33 percent of fish because of low stream depth and high flow rate. (The agency grades culverts 0%, 33%, 67% or 100% passable.)

Work has gotten underway to replace Purdy Creek culverts under eastbound and westbound Highway 16. That project will take two years. All three culvert replacements and repaving the Highway 302 spur, combined, will cost an estimated $41.6 million.

The detour route for Purdy Creek work at the Highway 302 spur.

The detour route for Purdy Creek work at the Highway 302 spur.

6.5 miles of stream corridors

The Purdy Creek watershed includes about 6.5 miles of stream corridors, including two small unnamed tributaries. Those waterways will be opened to juvenile chinook, coho and chum salmon, along with adult and juvenile steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout, according to Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The stream begins near Burley-Olalla Road in Kitsap County. It flows south through a mostly rural residential area to the lagoon.