The current pipe at Juanita Creek is eroding and preventing the migration of fish. Photo courtesy of city of Kirkland

The current pipe at Juanita Creek is eroding and preventing the migration of fish. Photo courtesy of city of Kirkland

Juanita Creek culvert replacement will improve fish migration in Kirkland

The current pipe is causing erosion along the creek’s bank.

Upcoming upgrades to the Juanita Creek culvert will reduce erosion and allow for fish migration under 111th Avenue Northeast in Kirkland.

Kirkland’s Department of Public Works was awarded a bid for the project at the City Council meeting on Feb. 19. The approved total project funding is about $1.5 million.

As July approaches, the city’s contractor, Dungeness Construction, will close the street for 21 days from July 15 to Aug. 14. A detour route will be available and Northeast 141st Street will remain open.

“The concrete pipe is very old and over time, that leads to sediment build up in the pipes and makes it impossible for fish, as well as causes flooding in the neighborhood,” said communications program manager Kellie Stickney.

Current clogs in the pipe at Juanita Creek minimize the flow of water through the culvert. As a result, this creates a blockage of residue and adds to continued erosion along the creek’s bank.

“The city recognizes this is an issue and is addressing it by replacing it with the box culvert,” said Stickney.

This congestion of sediment and water threatens nearby trees and also prevents fish from migrating upstream.

The existing 48-inch steel stormwater pipe will be replaced by a 12-foot-wide concrete box culvert. After the upgrades are complete, water will flow properly and it will be possible for fish to migrate.

“This project is an important investment in the health of Juanita Creek,” said public works director Kathy Brown in a press release. “The city is always pleased when we have the opportunity to invest in upgrading infrastructure that benefits our residents and improves fish habitat.”

The construction will be completed by early August, said Stickney. There will be planning and restorations that occur later on in the fall.

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