Friday, November 5, 2010

Fish love our new bridge on Mount Baker Highway

It didn’t take long for fish to find their way back to Chain-up Creek once the barriers were removed.
Chain-up Creek culvert
For years, a small concrete culvert and steep drop-off made it nearly impossible for fish to return home.


But a brand new bridge along Mount Baker Highway has revived Chain-up Creek and made the journey home to native habitat easier for spawning fish.


Fish have already been spotted and photographed swimming in the creek only a month after WSDOT completed work on the new bridge and reopened the creek.


During construction, crews were careful to rebuild the creek bed. We strategically placed all the boulders, rocks and logs to mimic and foster the natural flow of a creek. And it’s paying off.

We worked all summer to shift a half-mile stretch of Mount Baker Highway away from the Nooksack River and build the new bridge at Chain-up Creek. We recently opened the new bridge, several miles east of Glacier, to traffic.

Chainup Creek flowing nicelyIt’s not just the fish who benefit from the new bridge, either. These improvements will make a big difference to drivers and residents in the area. The new bridge and rebuilt creek will reduce the risk of flood damage to the road and reduce the potential for emergency road closures. They should prevent costly emergency repairs and repeated lane closures. It’s a win-win for drivers and the environment.