Highway 106 project on South Shore will replace culvert

The in basket: Cynthia Collier writes, “I drive State Route 106 every day to/from Union for work. Can you tell me what the road construction project is that’s taking place near the Twanoh Falls private beach area?

“Looks pretty extensive,” she said, “has the speed limit reduced to 25 mph, and has the road reduced to one lane, stopping traffic just about every morning. We’re all wondering what’s going on and how long it’s anticipated to last.”

The out basket: It’s another in the series of culvert replacements the state (and the counties) are doing to remove fish passage obstacles. It will continue through October and is, indeed, expensive, costing $6.3 million dollars.

According to the project Web site, http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR106/TwanohFallsImprovements/, “As part of an agreement with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, WSDOT is moving away from the repetitive repair of roadways that require recent, frequent and chronic maintenance repairs. Instead, WSDOT concentrates on long-term solutions that will optimize the improvements for fish and fish habitat, while also addressing transportation needs.
“The highway crossing has had a long standing problem of sediment accumulation,” it said, “requiring frequent excavation by maintenance crews to maintain creek flow and prevent flooding of the highway and adjacent properties. The sedimentation also poses fish passage problems.
“The culvert currently in place under SR 106 is too small. Replacing it with a larger one will improve creek flow, allow for fish passage and reduce sediment buildup. This will save money on frequent maintenance costs.
Since 1991, WSDOT has completed 269 fish barrier removal projects opening up over 904 miles of potential upstream habitat for fish,” the Web site said.

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