Siuslaw Watershed Council

Cleveland Creek Railroad Culvert Replacement Project

Culvert Replacement

This 2015 project removed a failed culvert that conveyed Cleveland Creek under the railroad and replaced it with a bridge, allowing access for fish

Cleveland Creek enters the mainstem Siuslaw River three miles northeast of Mapleton, Oregon, passing under the Coos Bay Rail Link railroad and under Oregon Highway 36 near the confluence with the Siuslaw. A 2004 survey of stream crossings in the Siuslaw identified the culvert that carried Cleveland Creek beneath the railroad line as a complete barrier to fish passage, and a high priority for replacement. The culvert was located near the mouth of Cleveland Creek, with 1.5 miles of habitat for Oregon Coast Coho salmon, winter steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout located upstream of the culvert. In addition to its potential to provide spawning and rearing habitat, Cleveland Creek was also identified as providing cold-water refuge for salmonids along a stretch of the Siuslaw River that is too hot for juveniles during the summer months.

In 2015, the culvert was replaced with a railroad bridge that spanned the stream, restoring passage to adult and juvenile fish to the 1.5 miles of habitat that are upstream of the railroad crossing. The streambed beneath the new bridge was structured to mimic a natural streambed, which now provides habitat to macroinvertebrates, and supports natural sediment and debris transport. The banks lining the project area are now lined with native species such as alder and willow, which provide nutrients to the water and shade to the stream.

Project partners included the Coos Bay Rail Link, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Coast Range Stewardship Fund, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Tide-Erskine LLC, as well as the project’s contractors, Scott Partney Construction and Laskey-Clifton Corporation.