Mill Creek bridge work installed

Mill Creek Bridge  

City of Forks photo

Workers from Aberdeen-based Quigg Bros., Inc. this week installed a section of the concrete box work that is replacing worn Mill Creek culverts under Russell Road. Once the work is completed this section of the road, about a quarter mile from Highway 101 and adjacent to the Russell Road shake mills, will be opened to traffic. 

The City of Forks' $600,000-plus project is replacing a pair of near-collapsed culverts that carry Mill Creek under the road about a quarter mile west of Highway 101.

Federal transportation funding, coming to Forks through the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT), highway funding, is paying for the majority of the project, including providing extra funding for the project needed when bids for the job came in higher than an engineering estimate for the project.

City Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck has told the Forks City Council the contractors bidding the job cited the isolated location of Forks and other climatic and logistical issues for the higher than expected bids.

The bridge and culvert project is scheduled to be completed over the summer.

With the help of the office of Sen. Patty Murray $500,000 in federal funds were allocated in 2011 to the project. In addition to providing a safe road, the two four-foot diameter steel culverts planned to be installed would improve salmon access to upland stream habitat. Due to the salmon runs up the creek the process of replacing the culverts is more complicated than usual due to environmental concerns. The Northwest Salmon Coalition has assisted the city in assessing the salmon habitat conditions in the waters in and near the culverts.

A heavy rain storm in late 2010 damaged the already weakening culverts, forcing the closure of the road. 

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