SR 92 - Little Pilchuck Creek - Fish Passage

Project news

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Why did WSDOT replace the existing stream crossing?
Little Pilchuck Creek is home to a variety of fish species including trout and salmon. The previous culvert under SR 92 on the east side of North Machias Road was just 12 feet wide and six feet high. The narrow channel funneled water too quickly, making the small culvert impassable for migrating fish. The new wider buried bridge allows the creek to flow more naturally under the highway and improve fish habitat in the area. In 2013, the U.S. District Court for Western Washington ruled the state must restore historical tribal fishing rights and remove about 1,000 culverts blocking fish passage under state roads.

The End Result
This new, larger passage will improve the route for local migratory fish in Little Pilchuck Creek and restore the creek to its natural state.

Needs & benefits

  • The fish will have access to nearly 30 miles of habitat.
  • The construction helps WSDOT comply with the U.S. District Court ruling on fish passage.


  • Late Spring 2018: Construction is scheduled to start.
  • Late Spring 2019: Construction is scheduled to be completed.

Detours and Closures
Installing a large 60-foot buried bridge east of North Machias Road, blocking the existing culvert and redirecting the creek will require a nearly two week continuous closure of SR 92 at North Machias, and two weekend closures. Two signed detours will be in place for the 12,000 drivers who travel the road every day. Local residents will be granted access to their homes.


The total estimated cost of this project is $6 million.


Frances Fedoriska
WSDOT Communications
Phone: 206-440-4690

Location of new fish culvert installation

The current, restrictive culvert over Little Pilchuck Creek at SR 92.
The current, restrictive passage over Little Pilchuck Creek under SR 92.