SR 532 - Church Creek Fish Passage

Project news

  • A new culvert 15' x 30' x 200' has been installed under SR 532 and the creek habitat restored.
  • WSDOT and contractor crews from Strider Construction will monitor the area through the winter and into 2018, making adjustments to the creek habitat, if needed while monitoring plant growth in their new environment.

The existing culvert that channels Church Creek underneath State Route 532 east of Stanwood is a barrier to fish passage. The small culvert will be replaced with a larger box culvert to improve stream flows for migratory fish. Church Creek is home to Coho salmon, chum salmon, steelhead trout and cutthroat trout. Once completed, the project will improve access to more than 10.5 miles of fish habitat.

Why is WSDOT replacing the culvert underneath SR 532 at Church Creek?
The existing culvert is a barrier to fish. Water flows are sometimes too shallow or too strong for younger and older fish to swim through. Building a wider culvert will allow the creek to flow more naturally under the highway and improve the fish habitat in the area. This fish passage project is one of about 1,000 culverts across the state that are mandated to be replaced. In 2013, the U.S. District Court for Western Washington ruled that the state must remove culverts that block fish passage under state roads.

The End Result
Building a new culvert at Church Creek will help restore the creek bed to a natural state and improve fish passage for local migratory fish, in compliance with the U.S. District Court ruling.

Needs & benefits

  • This project will improve fish passage and open up additional fish habitat.
  • The work will help WSDOT comply with the U.S. District Court ruling regarding fish passage.


  • Winter 2016: Project advertised for competitive bidding.
  • January 2017: Project awarded to Strider Construction.
  • Summer 2017: Estimated construction start.
  • Fall 2017: Most work is completed.
  • Fall 2018: Project, including landscaping, is complete.


Financial Data for PIN 153206C
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $6,068
CWA $18
Total $6,086


Andrea E. Petrich 
WSDOT communications

Shane Spahr
WSDOT project engineer