Credit: Idaho Transportation Department
There’s light at the end of the tunnel for an aging culvert (pictured left) under State Highway 14 west of Elk City. Work begins this week on replacing the culvert to improve fish passage.
As of Tuesday, August 28, 2018
MOOSE CREEK — Work begins this week on an estimated two-month multi-agency project to improve fish passage at Moose Creek near Elk City by replacing an aging culvert under State Highway 14.
Debco Construction will undertake the $500,000 culvert replacement located 11 miles west of Elk City at milepost 39. During construction, travelers should expect alternating, one-way traffic through the work zone.
According to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), the old culvert is not large enough to accommodate the flow of water and allow fish to easily pass.
“At high water, the flow is constricted and funneled into the circular pipe, creating higher velocities like a spigot,” said Miranda Main, a project manager for the Watershed Division within the Nez Perce Tribe.
“The culvert is currently considered a barrier to migration for spring chinook and steelhead, but the replacement should open access to upstream habitat,” she said.
Main said all life stages of fish would be able to swim upstream, with other features of the new culvert providing them areas to rest.
This project was designed by ITD and is funded by the tribe and the U.S. Forest Service.