WSDOT built a new bridge for SR 542 over Anderson Creek, about three miles east of Bellingham, and built a natural creek bed for the creek. The new bridge replaces two 1930s-era culverts that had been covered with 40 feet of fill. The culverts were a barrier to fish passage. 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 SR 542 Anderson Creek culvert was one of more than 850 subject to this ruling.
| Protects Environment
The natural creek bed replaces the old creek, which had a 10-foot drop on the north side of the culvert. Although there was a fish ladder, it was still difficult for salmon and other species to continue upstream. The culvert also often had branches and other debris in it, making it difficult for fish to pass. The new creek bed allows for easier fish passage.
| Economic Incentive
The old culverts were frequently blocked with debris, which required constant monitoring and maintenance. The new bridge allows the creek to flow freely, reducing maintenance costs.
Partnerships & Cooperation
Financial Data for PIN 154229B, 154229G
Total $7.970 million
Northwest Region Communications
15700 Dayton Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98133
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