I-5 & SR 548 - Tributaries to California Creek - Fish Passage

Project news

  • Northbound I-5 between SR 548/Grandview Road and Birch Bay-Lynden Road will reduce to one lane 24 hours a day July 13-19.
  • Zell Road north of Willeys Lake Road will close 24 hours a day July 13-23.
  • Bicyclists who use I-5 between SR 548/Grandview Road (exit 266) and Birch Bay-Lynden Road (exit 270) need to detour via Portal Way, just west of I-5.
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Needs & benefits

Starting in spring 2020, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews will replace culverts in two different waterways leading to California Creek in Whatcom County.

One series of culverts funnel a tributary to California Creek under I-5 near Willeys Lake Road and the south end of Grandview Golf Course. WSDOT contractor crews will replace one culvert under the southbound lanes, one under the northbound lanes and another under Zell Road.

The other barrier this project will correct is at SR 548/Grandview Road and Portal Way. At each location, the water runs too quickly through the culverts, making them impassable for migrating fish trying to reach spawning grounds.

WSDOT has long recognized the importance of minimizing transportation’s effect on our environment. In 1991, WSDOT gained legislative support to create a program dedicated to correcting barriers that restrict or block salmon and trout access to historic spawning and rearing grounds.

Removing these barriers can improve fish access to miles of upstream and downstream habitat. This is an important component of protecting and restoring fish populations in the Salish Sea.

Once this project is completed in fall 2020, 6.5 miles of additional spawning habitat will be accessible for migratory salmon, trout, steelhead and other aquatic species.

What to expect

This work will require lane or highway closures lasting about a week at each location. During these closures, travelers should plan ahead and allow extra travel time for detours or heavier traffic in one direction of I-5. Some of this work is weather-dependent.

I-5
July 13-19, northbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane. Contractor crews will build a temporary lane in the median between northbound and southbound I-5. Northbound traffic will shift onto the temporary lane during construction.

Zell Road
July 13-23, Zell Road north of Willeys Lake Road will close to build a culvert under the roadway. A signed detour will be in place. WSDOT is doing this work because Zell Road is located within WSDOT’s right-of-way.

SR 548/Grandview Road
August 23-30, the intersection of SR 548 and Portal Way will close to build a new culvert. A signed detour will be in place. Only local traffic will be allowed on Portal Way between Birch Bay-Lynden Road and SR 548, and north of Brown Road and SR 548. 

Timeline

Winter 2019: Awarded project to Kiewit.
June 17-23, 2020: Southbound I-5 reduced to one lane 24 hours a day between Birch Bay-Lynden Road and SR 548.
July 13-19, 2020: Northbound I-5 reduced to one lane 24 hours a day between SR 548 and Birch Bay-Lynden Road.
July 13-23, 2020: Zell Road closed north of Willeys Lake Road.
August 23-30, 2020: The intersection of SR 548 and Portal Way closed.
Fall 2020: Construction complete.

Funding

Financial Data for PIN 100596K, 154800D
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $8,898
CWA $2,588
Total $11,485

Contact

Tom Pearce
Communications
206-492-9555
Tom.Pearce@wsdot.wa.gov

Mikkel Lamay
Project Engineer
360-757-5856
Mikkel.Lamay@wsdot.wa.gov

A small map of the I-5 and SR 548 Tributaries to California Creek Fish Passage project areas.
SR 548 Tributaries to California Creek Fish Passage project area.