After a three-month break for weather, crews will resume work on a US 97 wildlife connectivity project on Monday, April 1.

Last year, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor Rotschy Inc. constructed a new US 97 bridge over Butler Creek. The bridge replaced an undersized culvert that carried the creek under the highway, improving fish passage and providing a crossing for wildlife.

Crews shifted traffic onto the new bridge last December before shutting down for the winter. But now that the weather is warming and the skies are clearing, they’re poised to finish the $2.9 million gas-tax-funded project.

This spring, the project will receive a final layer of asphalt and new lane striping. Crews will also build roughly a mile of wildlife fencing along US 97 and complete guardrail installation.

The US 97, North of Goldendale Wildlife Connectivity project aims to make driving on this stretch of US 97 safer by reducing collisions involving wildlife. The project also improves habitat for animals and fish.

The project should be completed, except for some fall landscaping, by June 1.