I-5 and SR 548 California Creek Fish Passage Project
Award of Merit
CONTRACTOR: Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.
OWNER: Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT)
LEAD DESIGN FIRM: PND Engineers Inc.
GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER: Shannon & Wilson
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: Braaksma Engineering
LANDSCAPE DESIGN: The Watershed Co.
SUBCONTRACTORS: Kiewit Engineering Group; R2 Resource Consultants Inc.
Time was on the side of the team building the California Creek Fish Passage Project, designed to replace the stream crossings beneath four separate roadways to better support the area’s fish and wildlife.
The project site crossed a tributary to California Creek beneath northbound and southbound Interstate 5, State Route 548 and a county road. On I-5, the project replaced the aging 66-in. corrugated metal pipe crossing with three 18-ft-span precast concrete box culverts and interconnecting natural stream channels. At the intersection with SR 548, the team replaced the existing 42-in. reinforced concrete pipe with a 12-ft-span precast concrete box culvert. The design was approved May 2020 and substantially completed eight months ahead of schedule in September 2020.
The project’s contract had a mandatory 9% underutilized disadvantaged business enterprise goal, which the team exceeded during both design and construction. Kiewit also developed a successful working relationship with the Lummi Nation and Nooksack tribes throughout the project.
The closure of the Canadian border during the COVID-19 pandemic benefited the schedule by reducing traffic on I-5, and WSDOT worked with Kiewit to adjust closure hours that not only made it safer for the workers to be on the freeway during the day but also increased the productive hours on the roadway. The adjustment resulted in time savings, a safer work zone and a higher quality product.