Canadian Consulting Engineer

Walsh, Stantec to assist in removing fish-migration barriers in Washington State

November 23, 2022
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The improvements being made to six stream crossings will support salmon and trout spawning.

Photo Credit: Stantec

The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently selected The Walsh Group and Stantec‘s design-build team to help the state remove barriers to fish migration at six locations in western Washington.

The projects in Mason and Thurston counties will integrate science and engineering to maximize the potential for upstream aquatic habitat.

The estimated US$35-million project will replace the current barriers with fish-passable structures that create high-quality stream and habitat restoration so that resident trout, steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout have access to their native spawning grounds. The six project locations are along SR 108 and US 101. The project will remove five barriers on SR 108 at McDonald Creek, Kamilche Creek, and three unnamed tributaries of Skookum Creek. The additional project site is at Griggs Creek on US 101. The project should be complete in August 2024.

WSDOT created a dedicated fish passage program in 1991. Since then, removal of barriers has restored access to over 1,000 miles of fish habitat.

“We’re excited to work with The Walsh Group to help WSDOT with these important projects,” said Jim McPherson, Stantec senior project manager in the Bellevue, Washington, office. “Providing fish passage and habitat restoration with improvements the roadways is really contributing to the value of our community.”

In a Nov. 21 news release, Stantec officials say that Stantec and Walsh have together delivered nearly 50 projects with a combined value of more than US$3.6 billion, including complex structures over environmentally sensitive rivers and surrounding habitat. Among their Washington State projects are Sound Transit’s Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension, King County Metro’s Interim Base Electrification project for a zero-emission bus fleet, and US 12 Wildcat Creek Bridge Design-Build.

Walsh is managing all construction activities on the project, while Stantec is the lead engineering design firm. Stantec will provide all roadway, structural, roadside restoration, maintenance of traffic design, and support for construction activities. Also supporting the project are GeoEngineers Inc. and O’Neill Service Group.


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