Local state Route 164 commuters will have to deal with a 90-day closure on their route starting this summer.
The reason? The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to replace an 11-foot diameter culvert that allows the Pussyfoot Creek to flow underneath the road with a 170-foot bridge.
“The culvert is too small and sections inside the existing culvert create conditions that make it very difficult or impossible for fish to travel upstream,” WSDOT’s webpage on the project reads. “The work will open about 9.3 miles of additional upstream habitat for resident and migratory fish, including Coho salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout.”
Construction on the nearly $10 million project, which is located between SE 400th Street and SE 416th Street — more-or-less just south of the White River Amphitheatre — is expected to begin July 5.
WSDOT is recommending different detours for passenger vehicles and trucks, meaning other local roads might see some additional traffic over the summer months.
Going north to Auburn, the agency recommends passenger vehicles leave SR 164 at 196th Avenue SE, go north until turning west on SE 400th Street, and then return to the highway.
Trucks and other large vehicles are advised to leave Enumclaw via SR 169 until reaching SE 400th Street, which will take you to SR 164.
“It’s always a challenge to close a main highway for an extended period. We understand detours can be an inconvenience. We appreciate your patience as we undertake this important work that will expand habitat for coho salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout,” WSDOT’s Tom Pearce wrote in a blog post about the project.