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

PI bridge painting pauses for the winter


December 27, 2018

Painting crews have painted a large portion of the Puget Island bridge. The sections highlighted in pink, red, and yellow still need to be painted, and sections in blue will need some touch up work. Note: The colors on the graphic are not representative of the actual paint color. Washington Department of Transportation photo.

Beginning Friday, Dec. 21, both lanes of travel across the SR 409 Puget Island bridge was reopened to traffic last Friday as painting crews stopped work for the winter.

"Due to inclement weather conditions, our contractor is suspending bridge painting and deck replacement work through winter," Tamara Greenwell, WSDOT communications officer announced Thursday.

Traffic had been reduced to one lane of travel to accommodate equipment needed for cleaning and painting the bridge's steel structure.

Traffic was also completely closed four or five nights per week from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to allow another crew to replace the deteriorating wooden deck supporting the roadway. The crew finished installing the panels last week, and the roadway will remain covered in plywood sheets until it can be paved next spring or summer.

"Until paving work can be completed next year, contractor crews have installed plywood over the bridge deck to protect the new deck panels," Greenwell said. "Crews will monitor the plywood overlay through the winter. For everyone's safety, the speed limit across the bridge will remain 25 mph."

She added that the alternating single-lane closure across the bridge will resume in early spring 2019. Since work began earlier this year, crews have painted a large portion of the structure.

Additional overnight bridge closures will likely be needed when crews finalize deck replacement work next year. Because the work is weather dependent, it is too soon to tell exactly when the work will resume, Greenwell said.


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