Whatcom County public works will work with the state department of transportation to replace a culvert along Bay Road this year to make it friendlier to salmon.
The existing culvert along Bay Road between Valley View and Bruce Road presents a barrier to Coho salmon in the California Creek basin trying to get to additional spawning habitat, public works project engineer Amelia Seagrave said in an e-mail. The new culvert will allow salmon to pass into 9,400 more square feet of spawning habitat.
The state department of fish and wildlife, Whatcom conservation district and other environmental agencies have tagged this culvert as a high priority for replacement.
The water running through the culvert is part of the most productive salmon spawning stream in the California Creek basin, Seagrave explained.
The project is set to cost about $563,000 and will most likely start in August, Seagrave said. Whatcom County will put up $93,000 in local funds to augment the state’s $470,000 in road funds.
The section of Bay Road will be closed for three to four weeks during construction with traffic detours in place throughout the project.