The closure will occur at the extreme north end of FR 25, approximately 4.5 miles south of Randle, Wash. This project is designed to restore fish passage in this tributary to the Cispus River.
“We are trying to make the replacement process as quick as possible using new and innovative ideas to limit the impact on forest users,” said Cowlitz Valley Ranger District Fish Biologist, Ken Wieman. “The idea is to get in and out as fast as possible.”
The culvert to be placed does not need the footings necessary with other designs, limiting duration of the project and length of time this popular road will be closed. This design is also more cost-efficient, bringing the project in well under budget.
“It’s a good chance to achieve multiple objectives in a quick and efficient manner,” Wieman continued, “providing safe public access while restoring fish habitat.”
Though the ultimate goal concerning increased passage at this site is to get salmon though the culvert, Wieman pointed out the hydrologic processes are also important. The design is meant to better simulate natural stream processes. “What we are trying to do is restore the natural physical and biological stream processes,” said Wieman. “We want to move wood and gravel through the system along with the fish and other aquatic organisms.”
The project will bring this stream crossing into compliance with State and Forest Service standards. The larger pipe will also help keep this important forest road open for public and administrative access, replacing a deteriorating structure originally built over 50 years ago.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Lewis County Conservation District and the Washington State Salmon Recovery Board are valuable partners with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on this project and others improving habitat along Woods Creek.
Updated information on the status of FR 25 during this project, along with other roads and trails information can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/giffordpinchot/recreation#cond.