Washington DOT to Resume Wildlife Connectivity Project - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington DOT to Resume Wildlife Connectivity Project

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GOLDENDALE, Wash.  - After a three-month break for weather, the Washington State Department of Transportation plans to resume work on the US 97 wildlife connectivity project this Monday.

Last year, DOT crews built a new US 97 bridge over Butler Creek, replacing an undersized culvert that carried the creek under the highway. The new bridge project aims to make the stretch of US 97 safer for drivers by reducing collisions involving wildlife, and to improve the animal and fish's natural habitats. 

Traffic shifted onto the new bridge in December, and now that the weather is warming again, the DOT plans to finish the $2.9 million project. This spring, crews will put a final layer of asphalt and new lane striping on the bridge, along with roughly a mile of wildlife fencing along US 97 with complete guardrail installation.

The Transportation Department plans to finish the work by June, with some landscaping in the fall.