Looking at Illabot Creek today, you’d never know the creek channel was once in a totally different location: Straightened out, armored with levees and flowing beneath a single bridge on Rockport-Cascade Road.
Now, the creek flows as nature intended – connected to its historic floodplain and complete with side channels, improved riparian growth, and a variety of logjams to slow water flow and provide salmon a place to spawn and grow for generations to come. Two new bridges along Rockport-Cascade Road span the new channels.
Skagit County and the Skagit River Systems Cooperative were recognized by the Washington chapter of the American Public Works Association for this engineering and habitat restoration work on Thursday, April 25. The project received the chapter’s 2019 Project of the Year award for structures less than $5 million.
Many agencies had to participate to make this project a success; in addition to the County and local tribes, Seattle City Light and Sierra Pacific provided project access and storage areas, R2 Resources, Inc., provided restoration design consultation services, and KPFF Consulting Engineers provided transportation and structural design. Interwest Construction, Inc. was the bridge construction contractor and Tiger Construction, Ltd. was the restoration construction contractor.