Preparing for a New Culvert at Gee Creek
The Main Avenue Project near the Carty Unit entrance at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is a little more than a week old. While there is a detour in effect to the Carty Unit, rest assured, the the Refuge is OPEN.
Project work, thus far, has mainly been preparation for one of the major features of the project, replacing the current 10-foot culvert with a 40-foot culvert. Last week, the contractor, C & R Tractor and Landscaping Inc., began clearing and “grubbing” (loosening up the soil) in the work site. The contractors have installed erosion control devices, temporary stream diversions, and dewatering systems. Diverting Gee Creek around the work site is important so the construction can occur in dry conditions.
Conscious of the impact to aquatic life, Ecological Land Services (ELS) has been onsite to relocate fish and other aquatic species that found themselves stuck between the stream diversion berms, where water is being pumped out. Long term, the new culvert should be a benefit to aquatic species and their passage along Gee Creek. The flow rate under Main Avenue will increase while the culvert itself will see less blockage from debris.
Other notable work has been surveying for the location of the four corners of the new culvert.
A full closure is in effect during the project. Refer to the map for the alternative routes to the Refuge’s Carty Unit. Again, the Carty Unit remains open for normal hours while the Main Avenue Project is underway. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 20th Anniversary of Birdfest and Bluegrass, the first weekend in October. This includes the sidewalk extension from downtown Ridgefield to the Carty Unit entrance.