Preparing for a New Culvert at Gee Creek

A full road closure is in effect at Main Avenue and Gee Creek during the project. Detours to the Refuge are available (   see map   ).

A full road closure is in effect at Main Avenue and Gee Creek during the project. Detours to the Refuge are available (see map).

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.

Features, like these filled bags, rock mounds, and tubes are in place to temporarily divert Gee Creek around the work site.

Features, like these filled bags, rock mounds, and tubes are in place to temporarily divert Gee Creek around the work site.

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.

While not as common today, cutthroat trout have been known to inhabit Gee Creek.

While not as common today, cutthroat trout have been known to inhabit Gee Creek.

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.

Detour routes to the Carty Unit, which remains open for normal hours during the project. (   printable map   )

Detour routes to the Carty Unit, which remains open for normal hours during the project. (printable map)