Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge River 'S' Unit Access Project

August 2014 Project Update

The Federal Highway Administration and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have completed preliminary development and screening of alternatives. The Preferred Alternative is a new bridge just upstream of the existing bridge that spans over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks as well as crossing Lake River. The new bridge is proposed to be 34 feet wide and will be approximately 500 feet long to span both the US Coast Guard navigation channel of Lake River and the BNSF railroad tracks east of Lake River.

The construction of the new bridge is expected to last two years and forecast to begin construction in 2016. Construction would involve both in-water work and upland work elements. The existing bridge would be removed when the construction of the new bridge is complete.

The project has entered into formal consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and USFWS. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the project will conclude within the next two months.

New Information:

Project Overview

In 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. The CCP included a Transportation Access Study completed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); that study was a preliminary review of alternatives providing access improvements to the River 'S' Unit.

The USFWS has now requested FHWA's Western Federal Lands Division office in Vancouver, Washington, to lead the River 'S' Unit Access Project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). By building upon past planning efforts, the FHWA will produce an in-depth transportation analysis to assess the current access location and identify specific alternative locations to the River 'S' Unit. With this new effort, FHWA is planning on engaging in a public scoping process under NEPA to develop the Purpose and Need and a full range of alternatives to address access related problems to the River 'S' Unit.

Purpose and Need

Comments may be submitted electronically by using the Comment Sheet

Vicinity Map



Map showing general vicinity of project
View a larger interactive map of the project area.

Project Details
Project # WA RRP RIDG 100(2)
Project Name Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge River 'S' Unit Access Project
Location Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Status In Development

Project Schedule

Project Schedule
View the full-size version of the Project Schedule  (Acrobat, 410 KB)

Contact Information

Project Email Address:

Michael Traffalis, Project Manager

Federal Highway Administration
Western Federal Lands Highway Division
610 East Fifth Street
Vancouver, WA 98661-3801

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