Mill Creek construction
June 18, 2020
WALLA WALLA—Construction projects at Mill Creek will cause a number of closures to Bennington Lake and the Mill Creek area over the summer.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District (Corps) will be replacing the division works fish ladder and hand railings at the Division Works (yellow bridge) and repairing the supports of the yellow pedestrian bridge. Security fencing will be installed June 18, creating a detour around the paved section of the levee next to the fish ladder. Work is expected to last until the middle of October.
During this time, the Division Works pedestrian bridge and the nearby Mill Creek trail will be closed to public access. A portion of the parking area east of the Mill Creek Project office will also be closed. A temporary detour path will be provided during the closure, however visitors are still encouraged to be aware of and avoid all closed areas to maintain safety.
“The upcoming construction projects are very beneficial to the community. The Corps has worked hard to minimize impacts to visitors by combining three separate construction projects into one. By replacing the fish ladder we are increasing fish passage in Mill Creek for Steelhead, Bull Trout, and Chinook Salmon. The bridge work will improve safety and extend the life of the bridge. The project is the result of many years of planning, collaboration, and design,” Natural Resources Specialist Jeremy Nguyen said.
Additional construction projects taking place at Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake over the summer include repaving Reservoir Road, which will result in the reduction of access to the project office and the closing of the road to vehicle access, but not foot traffic, to Bennington Lake.
Almost every aspect of the Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake area will be affected by temporary closures throughout the summer including portions of Rooks Park, Mill Creek Project parking lot and the Bennington Lake parking lot.
“Our biggest mission this summer will be to keep visitors informed of the various closures to reduce frustrations people may be feeling about not being able to visit one of the busiest and appreciated recreation areas in the vicinity,” Nguyen said.
More information can also be found on the Mill Creek Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/millcreekdam/.