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SR 202 - Little Bear Creek - Fish Barrier Removal

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A small picture of Little Bear Creek under SR 202 in Woodinville
A look at the swift moving water in Little Bear Creek under SR 202 in Woodinville.

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A small picture of the west side of the Little Bear Creek Culvert under SR 202 in Woodinville
The west side of the Little Bear Creek culvert under SR 202 in Woodinville.

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August 2017

WSDOT contractor crews are building a buried bridge under State Route 202/131st Avenue Northeast over Little Bear Creek in Woodinville. The existing culvert under the road will be removed. 

Replacing a culvert with a new bridge will allow the creek to flow more slowly, allowing trout and salmon to swim up and down the creek more easily.

Why is WSDOT replacing the culvert under SR 202?
This existing culvert is too narrow and the water flows too fast, making it a barrier for fish passage.

To replace the culvert with a new bridge, contractor crews drilled 70 shafts into the ground and built new bridge piers. Once all the concrete shafts are in place, WSDOT will close the highway to place the bridge deck on top of the new piers and concrete shafts. This closure is scheduled to occur 10 p.m. Friday, July 28 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Once the bridge deck is in place, crews will place dirt over the top of it and then repave to reopen SR 202. Then the crews will excavate all the dirt around the culvert to expose the piers and underside of the new bridge. The old culvert will be removed and the streambed rebuilt.

The larger opening will measure 25 feet tall and 30 feet wide, much larger than the current opening which is 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

The new, larger opening will slow the speed of the water, allowing trout and salmon to swim up and down the creek more easily.

When can drivers expect to see closures?
SR 202 near the SR 522 interchange in Woodinville will close for one full weekend in summer 2017 so crews can remove part of the road to build the new bridge.  

Outside of the weekend closure, there will be overnight lane closures from spring 2016  through the summer of 2017 as crews prepare for and finish the new bridge.

Fish barrier removal program
The Little Bear Creek culvert is one of more than 1,000 culverts subject to a 2013 U.S. District Court ruling that the state must remove culverts that block fish passage under state roads to restore historical tribal fishing rights.

The End Result
Both resident and migrating fish species will be able to pass through this portion of the creek easier as the water will be slower.

Project Benefits
Environment: Replacing the culvert and rebuilding the streambed will:

  • Improve fish passage.
  • Create a more inviting habitat for wildlife.
  • Help restore historical fish migration patterns and tribal fishing rights.
  • Allow other wildlife to also safely cross under SR 202.
Compliance: This project helps WSDOT comply with the U.S. District Court ruling regarding fish passages.



What is the project timeline?

  • April 2016: Project awarded to Olson Brothers Excavating.
  • Summer 2016: Construction begins.
  • Summer 2017: New bridge will be in place
  • Fall 2017: Completion of project

Financial Information

Financial Data for PIN 120200D
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $7,536
CWA $0
Total $7,536

How can I get more information?
Kris Olsen

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