The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Contract for Island bridge going to bid


Washington State Department of Transportation has updated its schedule for its Puget Island bridge project.

The contract for the project will be put out for bids at the end of June and should be awarded in August or September, WSDOT communications officer Tamara Greenwell said late last week.

"Once a contractor is on board, we are planning a follow up meeting with the community," Greenwell said.

The contract will involve replacing the asphalt deck on the steel portion of the bridge and painting the structure.

Department engineers outlined the project at a community meeting earlier this year. While contractors work on the deck, the bridge will be closed to public traffic during the night time working hours, most likely starting in 2018.

Initially, engineers planned to replace the wooden deck and asphalt surface roadway with steel grating. However, they've changed their minds.

"The bridge deck will be replaced with timber and asphalt,"Greenwell said. "Several factors affected the choice to move forward with the timber and asphalt deck."

Cost – Timber and asphalt are less expensive than the steel.

Lifecycle – In this application steel would have a slightly longer life cycle, but cost much more than timber and asphalt.

Community input – "We heard from residents at the open house who shared concerns of driving on a steel grate deck on the narrow bridge," Greenwell said.

"To ensure the contractor is meeting the overnight closure windows, some of the materials for the project will need to be prefabricated," Greenwell said. "With that in mind, closures of the bridge would most likely occur next year, and not this year, as we initially thought.

"Also impacting the construction timeline is the bridge deck railing. Based on input from the community at the open house, we are looking at options to raise the bridge deck railing. Since the bridge is a historic structure the railing design will need to be approved. Those requests are in process."


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