Crews removed the old culvert Pussyfoot Creek went through under SR 164 east of Auburn, then built a new natural creek bed. Removing the culvert opens up about 9.3 miles of habitat for coho salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout. Photo courtesy DOT

Crews removed the old culvert Pussyfoot Creek went through under SR 164 east of Auburn, then built a new natural creek bed. Removing the culvert opens up about 9.3 miles of habitat for coho salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout. Photo courtesy DOT

SR 164 open near Amphitheater; crews still finishing up work in the area

The highway between Auburn and Enumclaw has reopened, but expect traffic for now

State Route 164 between Auburn and Enumclaw reopened Thursday after bridge construction kept the highway closed for 95 days east of the White River Amphitheater.

The project successfully constructed a new bridge over Pussyfoot Creek, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Contractor crews from Rodarte Construction Inc. needed a few more days than initially planned to finish the project due to supply chain issues, according to WSDOT. Rodarte will still be performing work on the highway for some time, so motorists should be prepared for flaggers controlling traffic during the day, according to WSDOT.

The project involved digging out more than 40 feet of material and removing an 11-foot diameter culvert that carried the creek under the highway. Crews then built supports and placed girders for the bridge, paved the surface and installed barriers.

By removing the old culvert, crews were also able to build a natural stream bed for Pussyfoot Creek that should give the marine life going through the area more room to move around, according to WSDOT. It has also opened up 9.3 miles of habitat for coho salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout to spawn.

The $11.8 million project was funded by a transportation package passed by the state Legislature in 2015.


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