Olympic Peninsula, WA

WSDOT (subconsultant to Parametrix)


Throughout Washington state, there are thousands of rivers and streams that flow under roads and highways. When the highways were designed decades ago, culverts were installed so water could pass under them. Many were installed before scientists fully understood the needs of salmon, steelhead, and other fish.

Studies now show that these culverts are impeding fish migration and contributing to dwindling numbers of salmon. SCJ Alliance is teamed with four civil engineering and environmental services firms—Parametrix (the project lead), David Evans Associates, and HDR—selected to design solutions for removing 24 of these culverts on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Many of the initial 24 culverts are on remote sections of U.S. Highway 101. This will require careful planning to minimize travel interruptions during construction where detour routes are limited or simply don’t exist. Minimizing impacts to the surrounding environment, such as trees, wetlands, potential cultural resources, is a priority.

To efficiently tackle these challenges, the project team is divided into four smaller teams each responsible for delivering the design for a bundle of culvert replacements. SCJ’s team includes staff who specialize in roadway and stormwater design, traffic engineering, and soil and wetland science. In addition, SCJ’s environmental planning team is leading the preparation and management of environmental documentation and permit support for all 24 culvert replacements.


“I’m extremely excited to be working on this project. The removal of defunct culverts will support the recovery of declining salmon, and other fish species, by eliminating migratory barriers and expanding spawning habitat. This project will also aid in the preservation of food supplies for the endangered Southern Resident orcas and honor the state’s obligation to fulfill treaty rights with several Pacific Northwest Tribes.”

Hunter Brown, PE, STP, ENV SP
Project Engineer