The in basket: In reviewing the current six-year road plan for
Kitsap County, called the TIP and projecting out to 2017, I was
struck by the large number of culvert replacement jobs on it. They
almost outnumber other kinds of work.
I asked county public works officials if they’d argue with the
notion that salmon enhancement has become as much a priority as
moving vehicles in planning their road projects.
The out basket: County Engineer Jon Brand said, yes, he ‘d argue
“I would disagree that the road plan has evolved into a
salmon enhancement program,” Jon said. “There’s no doubt,
however, that salmon enhancement has become a major factor in the
road division’s maintenance, preservation and construction
“There are only three salmon enhancement projects on the adopted
2012-2017 TIP,” he said. “These are the South Kingston (Carpenter
Creek) Bridge (#7), Kitty Hawk Drive (#17) and the Bethel-Burley
Road Bridge (#45). Carpenter Creek was 100 per cent
grant-funded, Kitty Hawk is the county’s share of a Suquamish Tribe
enhancement project and Bethel Burley is an identified
barrier. But, of course, it’s not that simple.
“Since about 1995,” he said, ” the Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife and Kitsap County have maintained a prioritized
database of county-owned fish passage barriers. These are
typically culverts that restrict fish movement because of velocity,
vertical drop or depth issues.
“The county has a responsibility to address these barriers and
since 1997 Public Works has spent over $8 million resolving 26
barriers (through the road and storm and surface water management
divisions). These were projects originally conceived of as
salmon enhancement projects. The database has changed in
character as new projects have been identified and added to the
barrier list. Existing culverts requiring replacement because
they’re deteriorated or too small, have been inspected for fish
passage and added to the barrier list as applicable.
The other part of the story is that there are thousands of
existing county-owned culverts and bridges that fall under the
jurisdiction of (Fish and Wildlife), the Corps of Engineers and
Sometimes bad things happen like a major storm ala Hite Center
(#11) or Hunter Road (#13). Other times, structurally
deficient bridges and culverts have to be repaired or replaced to
maintain safe and reliable access, like Southworth Drive (#3),
Stavis Bay (#4) Wildcat Lake (#12) and others.
“When work takes place in fish-bearing waters, the county is
required to meet current requirements, and that means the project
has to maintain or enhance fish passage. These requirements
are also applied to road widening projects, like Bucklin Hill Road
“Other culvert projects on the TIP may not involve fish at all,”
Jon said. “These typically involve replacement of a
deteriorated culvert for maintenance purposes like Eastview (#9,
Miami Beach (#6), and Southworth Drive (#33, 34).”
To conserve space I haven’t described these projects very fully.
You can learn more by going on line at
www.kitsapgov.com/pw/sixyear_tip.htm and reading it yourself.