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Deep Creek Culvert Project

Old culvert  
Map of project area  
Concrete structure allowing year-round flow  
Concrete structure with road passing over  

Project Number



North Fork John Day Watershed Council


Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and The Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative (Ecotrust).

Project Overview

The Deep Creek Culvert project had the ambitious goal of improving stream function and fish passage through stream channel realignment and culvert replacement. The stream had had to flow in an unnatural right and left turn in the area of the Deep Creek culvert, making fish passage difficult. This streamflow pattern also didn't accommodate high water events and thus the culvert had failed repeatedly in the past.

Field work started July 15, 2014, and ended with the in-stream work window at the end of August 2014.

Components of this project included:

  • Replaced 1 culvert at the junction of Deep Creek and the 7370 Road.
  • Replaced 1 culvert at the junction of Bull Run Creek and the 7370 Road.
  • Realigned the stream channel to allow flood plain access and prevent culvert failure.
  • Moved part of FS Road 7370 out of the flood plain and along a better route of travel.

Culverts were replaced by concrete overpass structures which provide unimpeded year-round flow and thus fish passage, and handle 100 year flow events, preventing failure and destructive erosion. The road had been moved in the past and was returned to its original location at the top of the project, utilizing the existing junction with County Road 24 to maintain a safe intersection. This design provides a wide floodplain and riparian area while allowing public access to the area.

By shifting the stream channel back into its more natural position, our partners: 

  • removed hard stream channel bends and alleviated flooding issues.
  • opened the flood plain to the stream, improving water quality and hyporheic flow. 
  • improved access and quality of habitat for bull trout, chinook salmon, and steelhead trout.
  • maintained recreational and functional access to this beloved but little known public area.


Top: Old culvert.
2nd: Map of project area.
3rd: Concrete structure that replaced a culvert.
Bottom: Road crossing concrete structure.

For complete reports on this and other OWEB projects, please search OWEB's Grant Management System (OGMS).

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