The Donkey Creek Bridge is open for traffic, but you’ll have to go at night if you want to drive across it.
The work crew is putting the finishing touches on the downtown Gig Harbor project during the day, completing sidewalks, striping and general landscaping. However, once the crew goes home for the night — and the times vary — the bridge is open for traffic.
“It’s open,” Gig Harbor Mayor Chuck Hunter said. “You can cross it. They’re well ahead of schedule. That process has taken place, and it’s open now.”
The crew recently flooded the stream three times to remove silt and make sure the stream would flow effectively.
“They wanted to see how that was going to work,” City Administrator Denny Richards said. “Now it’s running all the time. Donkey Creek runs right out to the bay. When the tide is up, you have a big estuary.”
City officials hope the restored estuary will improve the fish habitat, particularly salmon. The finished product will feature a wide estuary, whereas the salmon previously had to swim through a narrow pipe to get to the creek.
“That pipe had several bends in it,” Gig Harbor senior engineer Emily Appleton said. “There were a couple of manholes where the pipe would come in, there would be a deep manhole, and the pipe would come out. So the salmon would have to find the pipe, swim up through the pipe, get through those manholes and find the right pipe to go up the stream.”
Gig Harbor City Council member Michael Perrow said the work is nearly complete.
“They just have to do some landscaping, sidewalks, and they’re still doing work on curbs,” Perrow said. “We’re pretty close.”
The work is expected to be completed sometime next month.
“It’ll look really nice when they’re done,” Richards said. “It’ll be a nice asset for the community.”