Kitsap County Public Works begins construction of a new bridge on Golf Club Hill Road at the Chico Creek crossing on April 29. The project, in partnership with the Suquamish Tribe, replaces the existing triple concrete box culvert with a 140-foot span concrete girder bridge and widened stream channel to restore natural habitat and enhance fish migration.
Work will occur during normal working hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. As the only access for the Kitsap Golf and Country Club and residences, the existing bridge was designed so that one lane is always open for alternating traffic. Motorists can expect occasional and brief traffic delays during construction, which is anticipated to extend through October 2020. Emergency vehicles will always have full access.
Beginning April 29, the adjacent Chico Salmon County Park, located at 3150 Chico Way NW, will be closed for the duration of the project
"As we've seen in other areas of the county, replacing box culverts with bridges significantly improves the habitat for wildlife and brings our waterways and estuaries back to their natural state," said Commissioner Ed Wolfe, chair of the Board of County Commissioners who represents Central Kitsap. "In partnership with the Suquamish Tribe, we are committed to improving and maintaining the health of our natural resources. It's imperative to the recovery of salmon, resident Orcas, our local ecosystem and the Puget Sound watershed."
Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman, summing up the importance of the project, said "Our goal of preserving a wild run of chum salmon and protecting the Chico watershed and all of Puget Sound just moved one step closer. The tribe has deep historical and cultural roots in Chico. We have been working with the county on trying to remove the Golf Club Hill Road culvert for nearly 20 years, and it's gratifying to see this obstacle to fish passage being removed. This is a great example of what the community can achieve when we all pull together."
The existing culvert, identified as a barrier to fish migration, has been slated for removal since early this century. The federal government installed the culvert in the 1940s for a railroad spur to a former ammunition depot. The spur was then converted into the road that runs to golf course and neighboring residences. While the new bridge is expected be completed by the end of this year, the culvert won't be removed until next summer.
The project is funded through a Washington State Recreation and Conservation grant and the Kitsap County Road Fund. The contractor, Interwest Construction, Inc., is completing the project under a $2.5 million contract.
To learn more about the project and to sign up for electronic notifications, go to http://kcowa.us/GolfClubHill .
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