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

Several sources offered for ferry, PI bridge updates

Closures now set to start July 30


With eight-hour night time closures starting soon for Puget Island bridge construction, travelers may want to keep up with unexpected issues.

The first of the closures, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., are now tentatively scheduled to start next Monday, Beau Renfro, Coordinator of Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Office Department of Emergency Management, announced late Tuesday afternoon.

The county ferry Oscar B. is scheduled to run all night to offer an alternate route on and off the Island during the closures. However, with the ferry sometimes out of service because of mechanical failures, travelers want to be able to learn whether or not the ferry is in service.

The county has a message phone for ferry notifications, Public Works Director Chuck Beyer said Tuesday. The number is (360) 795-7867, Beyer said.

The ferry will run free of charge during the closures, said Tamara Greenwell, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) communications officer.

"In the event of a mechanical issue with the ferry or if the ferry is inoperable, our contractor will reopen the bridge as quickly as possible," she said.

That number needs to be updated consistently, Island resident Sylvia Costich told the county board of commissioners on Tuesday.

Knowing the ferry had been out of service about two weeks ago, she had called the number on Monday and heard a message from June saying the ferry was running its normal schedule.

Beyer replied that he had just recently updated the message, but apparently he hadn't finished programming the change. He would take care of the issue, he said.

Beyer added that ferry information is also posted on the Facebook page of the county Emergency Service Department and the county website,

Also, the Wahkiakum County Department of Emergency Management has created a notification system to alert people of delays. To be added to the notification list, one should text the word: BRIDGE to 474747 or email one's cell phone number to Beau Renfro at The text option is preferred.

Finally, travelers can get updated closure information on the Washington Department of Transportation's Travel Advisory web page: or get current travel conditions on the mobile app:


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