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Crews for the state Department of Transportation have begun preparations for work to improve the flow of Wildcat Creek under State Route 8 near McCleary, a project that will cause significant delays throughout the two-year project.
“We understand this may be an inconvenience for some drivers,” project engineer John Romero said. “We appreciate their patience while we rebuild the streambed and improve access to fish habitat under the highway.”
The work will require two major traffic changes including the closure of the intersection of State Route 8 and State Route 108 starting this spring. The intersection, well traveled by drivers between the ocean beaches and Highway 101 from Shelton north, will remain closed 24 hours a day through summer 2019.
State Route 8 in McCleary will be reduced to one lane in each direction around the clock for the duration of the two-year project. During the same timeframe, drivers will notice a reduced speed limit from 60 mph to 45 mph.
While the starting date of those restrictions is not yet scheduled, the state will provide advance notification before the intersection closes and the highway is temporarily reconfigured.
Beginning 8 a.m. Monday, crews will close the right lane of westbound State Route 8 in the McCleary area. The around-the-clock right lane closure will allow crews to stage equipment and install temporary lighting. The right lane will reopen at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 10.
The project is part of a larger WSDOT effort to replace culverts that act as a barrier to fish. In addition to building new bridges, crews also will restore creek beds under the highway to improve fish habitat.