Highway Interchange & Fish Passage Stream Crossing: A Creative Cost-Saving Solution

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CONTENT EXPIRES: December 31, 2023

Removal of fish barriers in streams at highway crossings to restore aquatic habitat is a priority to the Washington State Dept. of Transportation and local Tribes. In order to allow innovation while remaining inclusive to all stakeholders, an integrated team including WSDOT, permitting agencies, and design builder developed an innovative approach to allow lump sum pricing prior to a fully permitted preferred alternative. Rarely does a barrier correction include upgrading an interchange, however this project included an innovative solution that fixed both. Collaboration and transparency proved to be critical to the successful outcome this first of its kind project.

1. Describe the value of a pre-NEPA and pre-permitting DB project. 2. Analyze innovation opportunities when there is no basic configuration or conceptual plans. 3. Demonstrate the need for extensive stakeholder engagement with the model used on this project. 4. Describe the added benefits of this project in addition to the baseline need (e.g. reconfigured I/C, removal of a downstream fish barrier).

Dean Franz, PE

Senior Project Manager


Dean Franz has over 12 years of experience working as a design manager on highway, fish passage and stream restoration type projects in Western Washington for WSDOT and other agencies, and over 30 years as a civil engineer.  He excels as a design manager on environmentally sensitive projects. His innovative and collaborative approach to problem solving consistently delivers compliant, permittable designs with proactive community engagement that results in strong public support.  As a Design Manager, Dean manages a team that prepares technical design concepts and environmental permit documents from preliminary design on through final design and construction. He works closely with environmental specialists and biologists all through the permitting process providing the necessary design documentation to acquire the environmental permits.

Kim Mueller, PE

PEWSDOT Fish Passage Delivery Manager

Washington State Department of Transportation

A 24-year veteran of WSDOT, Kim currently manages the delivery of WSDOT’s Fish Passage Program.  Kim has developed expertise in numerous disciplines while delivering transportation projects, including environmental, construction, and design.  She was the Project Engineer for the procurement phase of WSDOT’s first Fish Passage Design Build project, US101/Coffee Creek.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.  Kim grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA.


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1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available