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Illahee culvert project to begin Monday

Work on the section of Illahee Road that washed out in the December 2007 storm is expected to begin Monday. - Courtesy photo
Work on the section of Illahee Road that washed out in the December 2007 storm is expected to begin Monday.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The permits are in place, meaning work to repair the section of Illahee Road washed out by a December 2007 storm will begin Monday, according to Kitsap County Public Works.

The washout, between California Street and Varsity Lane NE, has forced some Illahee residents to drive an extra 20 miles to access Silverdale or Bremerton since the storm, a frustrating drive for commuters.

While much of the culvert design work was completed in February, it took about eight months to secure the required permits.

Permits with the State Environmental Policy Act, state department of Fish and Wildlife and National Environmental Policy Act were all approved by June, but approval from the Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Highway Administration took longer.

“It takes a long time to get the required permits,” Design Manager Richard Dadisman said.

Residents at an Illahee community meeting in June expressed frustration over the not-so-expedient process of securing the permits.

“We’re excited to break ground on it and get the project completed,” Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown said. “I share the frustration of the residents of Brownsville and Illahee.”

Dadisman said the new culvert will be 10 feet in diameter, compared to the old 18-inch-wide pipe, and easily passes the 100-year storm test. It also will be fish-friendly, allowing salmon to pass through.

“The new pipe is designed to have a fairly consistent gradient in the channel to allow future fish passage,” Dadisman said, adding that it will include a 4-foot deep layer of stream-bed gravel.

Contractors will have the job done by the middle of October barring weather, Dadisman said, and materials will be transported in via the Brownsville side of Illahee Road. The washed-out section will remain closed until construction is complete.

The project is estimated to cost nearly $1 million — between $800,000-$900,000 — and federal funding will cover 86 percent of those costs, officials said.

Updates for the project will be posted through the county’s road report, available online at www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadwork.htm or at (360) 337-5777.

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