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Chico Creek bridge on the horizon

The December 2007 storm took its toll on the Chico Creek bridge, leaving it ripped in two. County officials initially expected repairs to take six to nine months. - Jesse Beals/2007 file photo
The December 2007 storm took its toll on the Chico Creek bridge, leaving it ripped in two. County officials initially expected repairs to take six to nine months.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/2007 file photo

By the end of the year, the new Chico Creek bridge should be in place as both motorists and salmon should find the route easier going than it has been in the past.

Construction on the new bridge is expected to begin in April and bids for the project will open some time this month with construction expected to be completed before 2010.

“We had most of the design completed last year, but we had to wait on permits from outside agencies,” Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown said, adding that funding for the project is coming largely from federal and state sources.

The project fits in with much of what the county is already doing in terms of restoring salmon habitat throughout the entire county, Brown said.

Last November, the portion of Chico Creek, which runs through the Kitsap Golf and Country Club, was redone to provide a more natural, productive environment for salmon runs. The bridge is the next segment of the overall effort to restore Chico Creek.

“The old bridge was pretty good in terms of allowing salmon passage, but when we redesigned it, we did it to higher engineering standards,” he said.

The new bridge will be built on stilts to decrease the probability of it being damaged by a catastrophic washout like the one that closed the bridge in December 2007, he said.

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