BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes National Forest will close Forest Road 400, the road that accesses Sparks Lake, for two weeks beginning Thursday. The closure will allow for deconstruction of a temporary bypass road that was built to detour traffic off of Cascade Lakes Highway while a new bridge was installed to improve fish habitat in Soda Creek.
Forest Road 400, which provides access to Sparks Lake Recreation Area, will remain closed from through Nov. 9, officials said.
That will allow crews to safely deconstruct the temporary bypass road and bridge while not posing any danger to the recreating public. Forest Road 400 is anticipated to reopen and will be open until Cascade Lakes Highway is closed for the season.
Construction of the bridge began in July at milepost 25 and has detoured traffic for several months while the project was completed.
The bridge that is now in place replaced a 9-foot-wide steel culvert that restricted upstream fish passage for some life stages of trout and other species, such as amphibians and invertebrates.
Soda Creek is 21 feet wide, and the narrowing of this passageway increased water velocities, posing a risk that the culvert would fail under compressed flows and fill with debris. The new bridge will ensure the fish passage in the future.