Two-way traffic returns to Mount Baker Highway near Glacier just ahead of the upcoming ski season with the completion of a new bridge at Hedrick Creek, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Crews from Strider Construction – under contract from WSDOT – put the final touches on a new 126-foot span bridge on state Route 542 that will improve fish access to Hedrick Creek. The completion of the bridge between Cornell Creek Road and Coal Creek Road means traffic will move off the nearby temporary bypass lane, WSDOT officials said.
The new bridge is part of a $6.6 million project to replace an old, narrow culvert and free up an additional quarter mile of upstream fish habitat for local steelhead and Chinook salmon.
“The only major thing left to do is take out the old culvert and place rock below the new bridge,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Gabe Ng, in a news release. “As excited as we are about improving the nearby fish habitat, we’re equally enthused about being able to return traffic back to normal for the fall and winter months.”
There will still be occasional lane closures this fall while crews complete minor roadside work and clear trees. Work will resume in the spring and is scheduled to be finished in fall 2018, WSDOT said.
The Hedrick Creek fish passage is one of more than 990 culverts across Washington state to be replaced as part of a 2013 federal court ruling requiring the removal of state-owned culverts that act as a barrier to fish by 2030.
Update on Warnick Steel Bridge
Both directions of traffic on SR 542 across the nearby Warnick Steel Bridge will continue to alternate through a single lane for the next couple of months. During a routine inspection, WSDOT found corrosion on portions of the structure. Once repairs are made, all lanes will reopen on the bridge.