Local Information

Culvert replacement on SR 401 near Dismal Nitch to improve fish passage

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 11:23

Tamara Greenwell, communications, 360-905-2056
Jason R. Smith, Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce, 503-325-0435 ext. 219

DISMAL NITCH – Beginning next month, drivers who use State Route 401 near Dismal Nitch should expect delays and add time to their travel, while crews working for the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST) replace a narrow 4-foot diameter culvert under the highway.

The existing culvert will be replaced with a new 25-foot wide by 10-foot tall box culvert at the confluence of Megler Creek and the Columbia River. The new culvert will make it easier for fish to swim upstream, enhance water quality and improve habitat.

This $1.2 million project is a collaborative effort between CREST, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the National Park Service, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Bonneville Power Administration and the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership.

“We’ve got a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Joanna Lowrey. “Partnerships like this help bring dilapidated and undersized culverts up to current standards and eliminate the barrier they posed to fish.”

What can drivers expect?

  • Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 1, traffic on both directions of the highway will alternate through a single lane around the clock.
  • During construction, the speed limit through the work zone will be reduced to 25 mph.
  • The Dismal Nitch/Megler rest area will remain closed until the project is complete, in early 2017.

Improving fish passage
WSDOT's Fish Passage Barrier Removal Program identifies and removes barriers to fish passage caused by undersized culverts under state highways. 

Get Our Mobile App

  • Our Android and iPhone apps include statewide traffic cameras, travel alerts, mountain pass reports, ferry schedules and alerts, northbound Canadian border wait times and more.