County, USFWS teaming to protect Peterson Road
Wahkiakum County and the US Fish and Wildlife Service will work together to address erosion issues threatening Peterson Road in Middle Valley.
Skamokawa Creek is meandering in the area and is undermining the road near the Peterson Road Bridge.
County Engineer Pete Ringen has designed a project to protect the road, and in seeking possible funding parnters, submitted applications to funding programs of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Fish and Wildlife Service responded positively, and Ringen began working with agency officials to obtain permits to get the project going this summer.
Ringen said the window for working in and around fish habitat closes September 15.
USFWS Habitat Restoration Biologist Terri Butler-Bates said Tuesday that the agency can be involved because of the project's benefits.
"This is a pot of gold project," she said. "It will enhance (fish) habitat and protect the road and bridge. This is the type of project the Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for."
The project design calls for woody debris, rock material, and sections of culverts to be used to establish plants in the riprap embankment.
The county won't receive any direct federal funding, Ringen said, but it will receive materials for the project from USFWS. There should be a savings of "tens of thousands of dollars" on the project, Ringen told the board of county commissiners.
Total estimated cost of the project is $42,336. The county's portion will be $25,495, and Ringen said the County Road Fund has money to pay for the work.