Little Minter Creek at 144th Street NW
About the Project
The existing 51-foot long, 3-foot diameter culvert is identified by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a partial fish barrier due to its outlet drop, flow depth, and water velocity through the culvert.
Over time, the undersized culvert has concentrated flows at the outlet, creating a depression in the stream bed called a plunge pool. The water surface drop from the culvert outfall to the plunge pool is approximately 1 foot and is preventing fish from traveling upstream.
Additionally, corrosion has created an opening in the culvert bottom at the outlet, which allows water to escape and contribute to erosion of the road embankment fill toe.
The goal of the project is to provide rearing and spawning habitat to chum, searun cutthroat, coho salmon, resident trout, and steelhead.
Little Minter Creek is a primary tributary of Minter Creek, located approximately 5 miles west of Purdy, Washington. In the 1920s, 144th Street NW was constructed to maintain transmission power lines from the Cushman Hydroelectric project on the north fork Skokomish River to the City of Tacoma. It is likely the existing culvert at Little Minter Creek and 144th Street NW was constructed at that time.
Replacing fish barriers with fish passable structures is a priority to Pierce County. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently replaced culverts on Little Minter Creek under state Route 302. Installation of a fish passable structure at 144th Street NW will continue to tie together the upstream reaches of Little Minter Creek with fish habitat.
We continue to work with other local jurisdictions, tribal governments, and stakeholders to improve fish habitat and spawning area across the county.
The project is located off state Route 302 on 144th Street NW, south of the 360 Trails near the Gateway Park.
Project is still in the preliminary design phase. The following schedule is subject to change.
- Project development and initiation: 2021 - 2022
- Preliminary design phase: 2022 - 2023
- Finial design and permitting: 2023 - 2027
- Construction: 2027
The current phase is funded by local Surface Water Management funds. Pierce County is also actively pursuing other local, state, and federal grants to provide additional funds for design and construction.