KIKET ISLAND — Work is underway to remove a road and reveal the beach that was buried beneath it at the Kukutali Preserve on the west side of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community reservation.

With the removal of boulders that lined the road and a section of the road dug away, high tide began to creep over the exposed beach Wednesday.

Swinomish Environmental Director Todd Mitchell said as the work progresses, high tides will continue to creep onto the leveled beach until it is eventually inundated during some of the highest tides.

Removing the road may be complete next week. Mitchell said crews will then continue grading the restored beach and replace driftwood moved during construction.

When complete, a tombolo — a long, sandy mound stretching from the mainland to the island — will again connect Kiket Island to the mainland, instead of the road built about 100 years ago to provide access to a home on the island.

The tombolo beach will allow water to move between Similk Bay and Kiket Bay and provide habitat where forage fish could lay their eggs.

Kukutali Preserve over time
Kukutali Preserve

This aerial photo taken in 2006 shows the tombolo beach-turned-road and the east edge of Kiket Island at the Kukutali Preserve.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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