Russell Road culvert replacement work underway

Road scheduled to reopen later this year

Russell Road culvert work

Chris Cook – Forks Forum photo 

Work by Aberdeen-based Quigg Bros., Inc. contractors is underway along Russell Road in this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 8. 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.

City of Forks Planner/Attorney Rod Fleck and City of Forks Public Works Department Director Dave Zellar are scheduled to speak on the city’s current road works projects at the Wednesday, Aug. 15 meeting of the West End Business & Professional Association meeting. The WEBPA meetings are held at the state Department of Land and Natural Resources meeting room located on Tillicum Lane.

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.