Renovations will let salmon species return to Lunds Gulch in Edmonds

New renovations will allow threatened salmon species to return to Lunds Gulch at Meadowdale Beach Park in Edmonds, Washington.

After a decade of planning, construction has begun on renovations at the waterfront park to create a 1.3-acre pocket estuary that will bring back Chinook, chum and coho salmon, as well as cutthroat trout, the Everett Herald reported.

The centerpiece of the renovations is a five-span railroad bridge that will create a 90-foot (27-meter) opening for the creek to flow through. It will replace a six-foot (1.8 meter) culvert — a hobbit-sized tunnel to the beach for visitors who make the trek down the ravine trail.

Though the acreage is small, the project was a complicated and expensive affair involving a collection of state and federal grants. It also required a unique partnership with BNSF Railway, representing new possibilities in how to approach important habitats that butt up against railroads.

All told, the bill will likely exceed $15 million. Less than half of that is funded by grants, with the rest coming from Snohomish County. Strider Construction of Bellingham won the bid for the work.

The county estimates construction will be done by next spring. In the meantime, the beach is closed to the public.

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