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

Updates: Puget Island bridge, SR slide work

New slide project near County Line Park will impact traffic


October 11, 2018

Highway construction projects on SR 4 and the Puget Island bridge will impact traffic next week.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) contractors plan to finish work at the slide at Stella very soon, and a new slide stabilization project will start Monday near County Line Park.

Following are WSDOT announcements that, 1., outline the status of the projects and, 2., address questions about the bridge work.


WSDOT News: SR 409 Puget Island Bridge closures Oct. 15-19;

New slope stabilization work begins near County Line Park

Overnight closures of the SR 409 Puget Island Bridge resume next week.

Upcoming bridge closure details

Beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 until 5 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16

Beginning at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 until 5 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17

Beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 until 5 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18

Beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 until 5 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19

NOTE: No total bridge closures are permitted between 5 a.m. on Fridays through 9 a.m. on Sundays

The alternating single-lane closure will remain in place around-the-clock outside of overnight closure hours, for bridge painting work. For everyone’s safety, the speed limit across the entire bridge span is 25 mph.

To ensure travel access on and off the island, the Wahkiakum County Ferry will run during bridge closures, free of charge. In the event of canceled bridge closures with less than 24-hours advance notice, the Ferry will run overnight, free of charge. The Wahkiakum County Department of Emergency Management has created a notification system to alert you of delayed bridge openings or canceled bridge closures. If you would like to be added to the notification list, please text the word: BRIDGE to 474747 or email your cell phone number to Beau Renfro at, or call 360-795-7876. The text option is preferred.

New SR 4 Slope Stabilization project begins next week

In other news, work on the SR 4 - Near Stella Slope Stabilization project is wrapping up. Once complete, crews will move down the road to begin work on the SR 4 - 0.5 miles East of County Line Park – Slope Stabilization project. This is an emergency contract job, following a slide on July 25, 2018. Crews are scheduled to begin slope stabilization work in the area on Monday, Oct. 15. Travelers should plan for delays of up to 20 minutes through the work zone, throughout the fall.

"While we understand that travel delays due to another project on SR 4 this year can be frustrating, this work will help ensure the roadway serves travelers for years to come," said Tamara Greenwell, WSDOT Southwest communications officer. "The project is scheduled for completion in late fall 2018. The work is weather dependent and could be rescheduled based on the weather forecast."

Puget Island bridge work details

Greenwell also offered these comments on scheduling and inspection of the Puget Island bridge painting and deck replacement project:

"We’ve been hearing conflicting information from folks out in Wahkiakum County related to the SR 409 Puget Island Bridge project, so I wanted to provide you with a quick update.

"We have an inspector who oversees construction, ensuring contractor crews are protecting the environment surrounding the bridge, including the river. Our inspectors also document to the work, to make sure workmanship meets WSDOT standards. If it does not, we discuss these concerns with the contractor to have them addressed.

"Our prime contractor Royal Bridge Inc. has worked diligently with us to resolve concerns raised, but that often leads to delays in work being completed. It is a delicate balance. We understand the work delays can impact area residents and travelers. This project is estimated to cost more than $17 million, and we want to ensure we’re getting the best quality product for taxpayer dollars.

"We’re also hearing that there is some confusion about working days related to construction. The project is limited to 380 total working days and the bridge deck replacement work is permitted during 70 total bridge closures within the 380 total working days. It is important to note that those days are not consecutive or concurrent. The bridge deck replacement work is likely to continue into next year. The bridge painting work is scheduled to continue through Spring 2021. That said, we built financial incentives into the contract to entice the contractor to try and complete work early."


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