SR 202 - Little Bear Creek - Fish Barrier Removal


February 2018

  • This project is on hiatus until summer 2018 when crews can return to work on completing the bridge and rebuilding the Little Bear Creek streambed.
  • The new SR 202 buried bridge over Little Bear Creek is in place. More info: Building a Buried Bridge (pdf 3.44 mb).
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WSDOT contractor crews built 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?
The 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 were in place, WSDOT closed the highway for a weekend to place the bridge deck on top of the new piers and concrete shafts. 
After the bridge deck was placed, crews buried it underneath seven feet of dirt and then repaved SR 202. In the summer of 2018, the crews will excavate all the dirt around the existing 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?
There will be overnight lane closures through late September 2017 and during the summer of 2018 as crews prepare finish the new bridge. No lane closures are anticipated from approximately October 2017 through early summer 2018.

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 began.
  • Summer 2017: New bridge in place.
  • Summer 2018: 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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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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