Don’t expect the State Highway 305-Murden Cove construction project to end any time soon. The Washington State Department of Transportation’s fish barrier removal work at Murden Creek isn’t expected to wrap up until November 2023. That’s almost a year away – if you’re keeping track. So what’s going on with this $10 million construction project that is slowing traffic and irritating some drivers?
Some people have been alarmed by the number of trees that have been removed in the project’s wake and whose remains have been sitting along the west side of the Highway for some time. Authorities say the tree removal and replacement will allow crews to enhance Murden Creek, which is restricted to just a single culvert that flows under the highway. Crews will create room for the creek to flow naturally under the new bridge. The tree removal also makes space for a temporary, two-lane bypass road. As the project winds up, workers will plant more than twice the number of trees that are removed, along with some 3,000 shrubs, says the WSDOT.
Meantime, travelers using Highway 305 on Bainbridge will continue to notice temporary changes to the highway, as crews create new work zones between the northbound and southbound lanes, allowing them to continue to build a temporary two-lane bypass road. The bypass will keep people moving as crews replace the culvert with the new bridge.
As is posted, the speed limit is reduced to 35 mph. Bicyclists can ride with traffic or follow a signed detour. The detour follows North Madison Avenue NE and NE Lovgreen Road. The detour will remain in place for the duration of the project.