Trips to the coast will require sunscreen and detours

This summer, trips to coastal beach communities between Hoquiam and Pacific Beach may include a couple different routes.

Washington State Department of Transportation’s contractor Kiewit will remove and replace culverts under the highway at five locations. Travelers will follow detours around five separate work zones on state Route 109.

The detours will provide access to coastal businesses and communities. The project will open new fish passages and improve access to habitat.

SR 109 construction between Seabrook and Ocean City

Beginning 9 p.m. Sunday, June 16, state Route 109 just south of Seabrook will close around the clock for a few weeks. Crews will work to remove and replace the existing culvert. Similar closures and detours are planned to start at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 8 north of Copalis Beach and 9 p.m. Sunday, July 28 north of Ocean City.

SR 109 construction west of Hoquiam

Beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 8, state Route 109 will close around the clock between Bay Ridge Lane and Valley Road. The roadway will be closed to all travelers for approximately 21 days.

After the first road closure is completed, state Route 109 will close around the clock for roughly 33 consecutive days between Kessler Lane and Rock View Lane.

Travelers will detour via U.S. Highway 101, Ocean Beach Road, Grass Creek Road and Powell Road. The 12-mile detour route takes an estimated 20 minutes to travel between Hoquiam and state Route 109.

These sites are all part of a larger effort to correct 29 barriers to fish in Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam counties that will last through 2026. During summer 2023, crews removed barriers to fish under six locations on U.S. Highway 101 between Hoquiam and Humptulips.

Big task to remove barriers to fish

Removing barriers to fish under state highways is far from easy. During this important work, crews dig up the entire highway. Workers install a large concrete structure that allow fish to swim under the highway. Once crews install a new concrete culvert, workers repave and reopen the highway. The much larger concrete culvert replaces the small pipe culvert that blocked fish migration.

Some of the work crews will perform has to take place in the water. There is a limited time frame they are allowed to work in the water. This “fish window” is when working in the water will be the least disruptive to aquatic life. This is why this work will occur during the busy summer travel season.

Travel tools

While travelers will see a lot of construction around the Olympic Peninsula this summer, WSDOT has tools to help everyone get where they are going. Travelers can sign up for email updates for major roadwork on state highways in Grays Harbor County. Real-time travel information is available on the WSDOT app and statewide travel map.