Contracts awarded to replace failing creek culverts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, ensure uninterrupted McChord Field access

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
Published June 27, 2024
Joint Base Lewis-McChord C-17 Globemaster IIIs taxi on McChord Field

Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 62nd Airlift Wing prepare to take off from McChord Field, June 6, 2020. Airforce loadmasters, pilots and maintainers serving with active duty 62nd Airlift Wing and 446th Airlift Wing reserve components with help execute JBLM's global airlift mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mikayla Heineck)

Efforts to maintain the transportation routes of one of the Nation’s busiest military bases reached a significant milestone this spring on April 26 and June 13, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Seattle District, awarded a combined $23.9 million in contracts to Tribal-One and Derian Inc. to remove and replace two failing culvert crossings with road bridges across Clover Creek on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The large underground culverts were used throughout McChord Field to provide cross drainage of Clover Creek, which flows east to west and ultimately under the airfield, before draining into nearby Steilacoom Lake.

Contractor planning and site preparation is expected to begin summer of 2024. Once complete in late fall of 2025, two new clear-span bridges on Perimeter Road & Barnes Boulevard and will continue supporting the airlift mission and transportation to McChord Field and surrounding facilities.

The repair project involves two failing culverts adjacent to the airfield and construction will not impact runway operations.

In 2023, 62nd Airlift Wing’s C-17 Globemaster IIIs transported 24,655,017 pounds of cargo over 25,364 flight and 5,666 sorties – highlighting the project’s critical need towards maintaining transportation access for one of the Nation’s busiest and most active airfields.

“The McChord Field bridge projects are critical for accessing the east and west sides of the airfield and getting these contracts awarded is an important first step,” said Seattle District Project Manager Shannon Henriquez. “It’s been a team effort between our district specialists, JBLM Directorate of Public Works, and our architect- engineer partners to develop and award these engineering solutions together.”

Plans to the replace the creek crossings began after routine bridge inspections from 2012 found the existing structures exceeded their service life and were failing. The project follows the full reopening of the McChord Field runway in December 2020 after an 11-month emergency displaced threshold, due to two failing Clover Creek culverts under the runway and taxiway. USACE Seattle District managed the design-build contract and emergency repairs to the runway that opened a month ahead of schedule.

“JBLM is relieved that after several years of working with different USACE project managers, these two bridge projects have been awarded to provide critically needed repairs to these two vital north-south ground connection points on McChord Field in support of the Air Force’s high priority airlift mission,” said Systems Manager Branch Chief Gaylord Higa, JBLM Directorate of Public Works. “This ensures vital ground transport connector nodes will be properly repaired, allowing continuous and uninterrupted support for the people and equipment at McChord Field and the 62nd Airlift Wing.”

The Seattle District’s Lewis and Clark Project Office is managing the project and contract on behalf of JBLM Directorate of Public Works, who initiated the project with repair and maintenance funds.


Louis Velasco
(206) 764-3934

Release no. 24-019