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SR 3 – Chico Creek – Remove Fish Barriers Project – Construction activities, traffic flow, and timing

WSDOT works to balance construction progress with keeping people moving through the project area. Careful planning and advance construction activity notice will help mitigate impacts to neighbors and the traveling public.

Travelers can expect some slowdowns, brief traffic stops, and long-term and short-term ramp closures during key points of construction.

WSDOT will use various channels to communicate construction that affects all users of the roadway, including emails, social media, postcards, and the project website among other communication mediums.

The work is anticipated to begin fall 2021. WSDOT expects the project will be complete by late fall 2023.

What you can expect and when

Stage 1: Fall 2021 to spring 2022

A map graphic representation of the SR 3 and Chico Way Northwest interchange shows activities during the first stage of construction, which includes a traffic shift while crews construct a new bridge over Chico Creek, building a new SR 3 southbound exit ramp, and building a new bridge on Chico Way Northwest.
This map shows Stage 1 construction activities and impacts between late summer 2021 and spring 2022.
  • SR 3 mainline work
    • Traffic shifts to the outside shoulders of SR 3 to allow for construction of the center portion of the new SR 3 bridge
    • Two lanes of traffic maintained in each direction on SR 3
    • Build new SR 3 southbound exit ramp to Chico Way Northwest
  • Chico Way Northwest bridge construction
    • Construct a new bridge on Chico Way Northwest to make room for future stream alignment
    • Crews will reduce traffic lanes but alternating one-way traffic will be maintained on Chico Way Northwest during construction

Stage 2: Summer 2022 through spring 2023

A map graphic representation of the SR 3 and Chico Way Northwest interchange shows a traffic shift to the inside lanes of SR 3 and a full closure of the southbound SR 3 on-ramp.
This map shows Stage 2 construction activities and impacts between summer 2022 and spring 2023.
  • SR 3 mainline work
    • Traffic shifts onto newly built center portion of SR 3 bridge to build outer portion of the bridge on northbound and southbound SR3
    • Existing southbound SR 3 on-ramp closed for up to one year
    • Build new Chico Way Northwest to southbound SR 3 on-ramp
    • Two lanes of traffic maintained in each direction on SR 3
  • Fish window #1 – July to September 2022
    • Build new unnamed tributary replicated stream and excavate underneath Chico Way
    • Build new stream alignment between Chico Way Northwest and Chico Creek
    • Construct east portion of unnamed tributary that runs parallel to southbound SR 3 off-ramp
    • Tie-in east portion to the unnamed tributary and put stream in new alignment
    • Habitat improvements along east portion of unnamed tributary

Full closure of the existing on-ramp to southbound SR 3

Stage 2 construction includes a full closure of the existing southbound SR 3 on-ramp at Chico Way Northwest for up to one year. The closure will allow crews to remove and relocate the existing on-ramp to southbound SR 3. Moving the existing on-ramp will provide more room for the new alignment of the unnamed tributary, which currently flows under the existing on-ramp.

While the existing on-ramp is closed, crews will construct a large new bridge that will carry both directions of SR 3 over Chico Creek. The new 222-foot-long elevated bridge will allow Chico Creek to naturally meander back and forth over time. Crews will open the new southbound SR 3 on-ramp once construction of the elevated bridge is complete in Spring 2023.

Crews will clearly mark detours for traffic moving through the area.

A map graphic representation of the southbound SR 3 on-ramp detour route shows drivers taking Chico Way Northwest south to Austin Drive to access southbound SR 3.
This map displays the detour route for southbound traffic during the southbound SR 3
on-ramp closure at Chico Way Northwest.

Northbound SR 3 exit ramp to Chico Way Northwest

There also is the potential for a 30-day closure of the northbound SR 3 exit to Chico Way Northwest in early 2023. WSDOT will provide advance notice of the closure if it does occur.

Stage 3: Spring to winter 2023

A map graphic representation of the SR 3 and Chico Way Northwest interchange shows project wide landscaping and habitat restoration while crews connect Chico Creek and the unnamed tributary to their new and improved alignments.
This map shows Stage 3 construction activities between spring and winter 2023.
  • Chico Creek excavation during fish window #2: July to September 2023
    • Excavate and create new and enhanced Chico Creek alignment
    • Move Chico Creek into the new alignment
    • Tie-in unnamed tributary to the new Chico Creek
    • Decommission existing culverts
  • Landscaping and habitat enhancement project wide