Field Trips

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), our conference host agency, is organizing three full-day field trips on Wednesday, August 24. Lunch, snacks and transportation costs are covered in your conference registration fee.

Field Trip 1: I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project – Ecological Connectivity

Snoqualmie Pass East ProjectImprovements are now underway on Interstate 90 (I-90) near Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains, about 50 miles east of Seattle. This field trip will explore how ecological connectivity is also being improved for terrestrial and aquatic species as an integral part of this project. We will view the project under construction, including several wildlife crossing structures, and learn about the extensive planning and coordination involved as well as the engineering challenges. The partnership approach for ecological monitoring and landscape level connectivity planning will also be featured.

A picnic lunch will provide participants with opportunities to enjoy the surroundings and talk with presenters.

Participating agency partners: US Forest Service, Western Transportation Institute, Central Washington University, Conservation Northwest, and I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition.

Field Trip 2: Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound – Aquatic Ecosystems

Jimmycomelately CreekThe protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems is a critical natural resource concern in the Pacific Northwest where salmon are an iconic species, but also critically imperiled. This excursion over land and sea will focus on the issues related to Puget Sound and its watersheds, important restoration work now underway and how this plays out for transportation projects. Crossing Puget Sound by Washington State Ferry, we will learn about measures used to reduce environmental effects of ferry terminals, then travel on to see projects on the Olympic Peninsula to remove barriers to fish passage and restore estuary and stream habitat.

This trip will include a lunchtime visit to the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal center and an award-winning partnership project at Jimmycomelately Creek. Returning via the new Tacoma Narrows bridge, we will view construction work on the Manette Bridge and wetland restoration in the Hylebos basin, near the Port of Tacoma.

Participating agency partners: Washington State Ferries, City of Pouslbo, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, and Port of Tacoma.

Field Trip 3: Seattle Metropolitan Area – Sustainability in Urban Environments

Fish passage culvert installSeattle is renowned for its beautiful natural setting between the sea and the Cascade Mountains, and environmental health is an important regional value. How can you protect the natural environment while meeting the transportation needs of a thriving metropolitan area? This field trip will explore solutions including habitat protection, wetland mitigation banking and stormwater management, as well as some of the unique issues addressed in planning the Highway 520 floating bridge replacement on Lake Washington.

This trip includes lunch at the Washington Park Arboretum and a nature trail walk (approximately 1 mile) to view the shore of Lake Washington and the 520 highway corridor. Current active construction on the east side of this project, including culvert replacement for fish passage, will be viewed.

Participating agency partners: City of Seattle, Washington State Department of Ecology, HDR Engineering, and Washington Park Arboretum.