Since 2014, Salmon SuperHwy partners have removed or replaced 14 barriers, opening up access to over 50 miles of habitat. Below you'll find details on some of our completed projects.
Boulder Creek Restoration: Blankenship Road Crossing
This project replaced a 9-foot-wide, undersized culvert with a 72-foot bridge along Blankenship Road, across Boulder Creek, a tributary to the Nestucca River, five miles east of the community of Beaver, in Tillamook County. One remaining barrier is located upstream on the mainstem of Boulder Creek, which will be replaced in 2018. These projects will improve fish passage to four miles of habitat for threatened Coho salmon, Chinook, Steelhead, Cutthroat trout, and Pacific Lamprey, improve natural sediment and nutrient transport, and mitigate the culvert failure risk in the event of a large storm. By increasing habitat availability in the Boulder Creek watershed, salmonid populations will be more resilient to future impacts from weather events, climate change, or management impacts.
Blankenship Road is managed by Tillamook County, and has a dairy farm on both sides of the Boulder Creek crossing. The project partners worked with the landowner to ensure that dairy operations were not negatively impacted during construction. The project was a collaborative effort led by the Nestucca-Neskowin Sand Lake Watersheds Council to improve fish passage in the watershed. Partners included the US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Tillamook County Public Works, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Bureau of Land Management, Cascade Pacific Resource Conservation and Development, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Mapes Creek Fish Passage Project 2017
This project replaced an undersized and failing culvert located approximately 150-feet upstream of Mapes Creek's confluence with the Kilchis River, with a 32-foot bridge. The existing four and a half foot culvert, located where Kilchis River Road crosses Mapes Creek, a tributary of the Kilchis River, was undersized and approximately 60 percent filled with streambed materials. As a result, it adversely affected aquatic organism passage (including blocking or impeding passage of adult and juvenile salmonids to approximately 0.7 miles of upstream habitats) and stream processes (including transport of stream bed material and organic matter). In addition, the culvert required an inordinate level of inspection and maintenance to avoid plugging and breaching. Thus, it posed a serious risk to human health and safety, as well as to downstream water and habitat quality and the survival of aquatic organisms.
The new 32-foot bridge is approximately one and a half times as wide as Mapes Creek's active channel and the constructed streambed matched the gradient and substrate of the natural streambed upstream of the crossing. As a result, the new bridge will provide unimpeded passage for a variety of aquatic organisms including the federally threatened Oregon Coast coho salmon. It also will improve stream function by reducing potential for downstream erosion and allowing for proper sediment and nutrient transport. Further, the new structure meets current seismic safety standards and will not be prone to plugging with woody debris and streambed materials like the culvert it replaced. This will greatly improve public safety by reducing potential for failure during earthquakes or high flow events and it also will greatly reduce maintenance time and expenses for the Tillamook County Public Works Department. Project Partners included Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Tillamook County, Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Patagonia and Trout Unlimited/Orvis.