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Bent culverts delay work on State Route 305

Crews used a massive drill to burrow beneath State Route 305 in August. - Brad Camp/File Photo
Crews used a massive drill to burrow beneath State Route 305 in August.
— image credit: Brad Camp/File Photo

POULSBO — A culvert replacement project along State Route 305 expected to wrap up this month will continue into December. The work was delayed after two new culverts were bent during drilling efforts, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Crews began the installation of the new culverts at Lemolo and Bjorgen creeks in July. The culverts are expected to improve fish migration in both creeks.

Frank Coluccio Construction used a pipe jacking technique which forced the culverts through the ground 40-feet below road level, allowing crews to work without disrupting traffic.

"The project has taken longer than expected due to the challenges of driving the culverts through the hillside, particularly at the Bjorgen Creek site," Transportation spokesman Joe Irwin said.

Both culverts required repairs, which took additional time, he said. The Lemolo culvert installation is complete, and the Bjorgen culvert installation will resume once a pile driver is brought over from the Lemolo site.

Final cleanup and site restoration is expected to occur at the start of 2011.

Until the culverts are finished the streams are flowing through temporary structures. Because crews aren’t in the streambeds, the recent rainy weather has had little effect on progress, Irwin said.

Crews will eventually place gravel and rock in the culverts to simulate natural beds. There is equipment in place to pump excess water in case of a torrential downpour, Irwin said.

The project costs about $3.8 million and is funded by state and federal money. Learn more at www.wsdot.wa.gov.

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