US 12 lanes reopened, SR8 construction completed early

Drivers now have a straight shot through East County on State Route 8 and State Route 108.

The state Department of Transportation announced last week that the fish passage barrier removal project that began a year and a half ago has been completed six months ahead of schedule.

State Route 8 has four new bridges, two eastbound and two westbound. After months of enduring a 40 mph speed limit on Route 8, drivers now find four wide-open lanes and a 60 mph speed limit through the area. State Route 108, also known as the Kamilche cutoff between McCleary and U.S. Highway 101 at the Little Creek Casino, has also been reopened.

For drivers who have been taking the Elma-McCleary Road east, McCleary Police note the stop sign at the intersection of Route 108 is back in place after having been removed through the construction process. There are warning signs ahead of the stop sign, but drivers have been zipping through the stop sign at 40 mph, according to police.

The Wildcat Creek project involved the removal of outdated culverts under both roadways, opening a couple of forks of the creek to much-improved migration routes for salmon and other fish species.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the work on U.S. Highway 12 west of Montesano has been completed and traffic has been “restored to four lanes after successful completion of a fish passage project,” the WSDOT webstie says. “Additional lane closures will continue as needed through November 2018 until the project is substantially complete.”