Community Environment Transportation

Culvert projects starting next week will cause Highway 302 traffic disruptions

Posted on July 19th, 2022 By:

Culvert projects to improve fish habitat in Little Minter and Purdy creeks will disrupt traffic on Highway 302, the Highway 302 spur through Purdy and Highway 16 over the next two years.

Work to remove barriers on Little Minter Creek will begin later this month. It was part of a project to replace culverts for Minter Creek under Highway 302 that began in spring 2019.

That job was completed last year, but crews didn’t get to Little Minter because supply chain issues pushed them beyond the fish window when in-water work can be conducted, according to the state Transportation Department.

An old box culvert in Little Minter Creek.

An old box culvert in Little Minter Creek.

Beginning the week of July 25, drivers will confront one-way alternating traffic near 118th Avenue and 123rd Avenue — between about Ravensara Espresso and the Shell station — from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. Crews are also allowed to work overnight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to the transportation department.

A longer around-the-clock total closure of that portion of Highway 302 is scheduled early to mid-August as crews install two new culverts in Little Minter Creek. Cars will be detoured around the work via 118th, Creviston Drive and 123rd. Oversized trucks will detour using Highway 16 to Gorst and Highway 3 to Belfair. The closure date will be announced when it is finalized.

The detour passenger vehicles will take during the Highway 302 closure.

The different detours passenger vehicles and freight trucks will take during the Highway 302 closure.

After the total closure ends, alternating one-way traffic will resume until the project is finished in early fall.

The next project will be replacing Purdy Creek culverts with bridges on the Highway 302 spur and Highway 16. The work will require a long-term detour for the spur, also known as Purdy Drive, and shifted lanes on both directions of Highway 16, according to the department.

On Monday, Aug. 1, paving will begin on Purdy Lane, the little side road that runs parallel and to the east of the spur. It will be used as a detour from early September to August 2023 while crews remove the old culvert under the spur and replace it with a 77-foot bridge. A temporary signal will be installed at the intersection of 144th Street and Purdy Lane.

Culvert taking Purdy Creek under the Highway 302 spur.

Culvert taking Purdy Creek under the Highway 302 spur.

Improvements to Purdy Creek will also occur under both directions of Highway 16. The creek goes under the highway between 144th Street and the Highway 302 spur’s westbound onramp to Highway 16.

Westbound construction will begin in late September and continue until next summer. Construction eastbound will occur from next summer through the summer of 2024. During this time, travelers will see a reduced speed limit and shifted lanes through the work zone.

In 2013, the courts agreed with 21 Northwest Washington tribes that the state has a treaty-based duty to preserve fish runs. The verdict requires the state to significantly increase its effort to remove state-owned culverts that block habitat for salmon and steelhead by 2030.

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

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