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

Bridge work should end ahead of schedule


August 1, 2019

Contractors plan to complete painting and redecking the Puget Island bridge this year. The photo above shows progress. Below, a crewman works on final details for the wooden deck that will receive a coat of asphalt; a new pedestrian walkway has been installed; a new higher rail is yet to come. Photos courtesy of the Washington Department of Transportation.

Construction work on the Puget Island bridge should wrap up this year, according to the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

"The contractor anticipates all work to be completed before the end of the year, ahead of schedule," Tamara Greenwell, WSDOT regional communications officer reported Tuesday. "Work was originally scheduled to continue through spring 2021.

"It is important to note that the schedule can change due to weather or other delays, but so far, things are looking good."

Crews have given the bridge a new coat of paint and replaced the old wooden decking. A crew is now installing reinforcing bars on the wooden deck.

Greenwell said the work remaining to be completed is:

Timber deck punch list items;

Waterproofing membrane and paving;

Expansion joint seal replacement;

Replacing damaged rivets with high strength bolts;

Removing suspended scaffolding underneath the bridge;

Final touch-up on structure, and

Installing a new bridge railing.

"In the coming weeks, the contractor will close the bridge overnight for approximately two nights to install waterproofing membrane and pave the bridge deck," Greenwell said. "The closures are not yet scheduled. To help travelers plan ahead, we will make sure to notify folks in advance of the closures."

Last year, crews closed the bridge 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. to remove old decking and install new material. During that time, WSDOT paid for the county ferry Oscar B. to operate so that people could access or leave the Island at night. Emergency responders also staged equipment on the Island for quick response.


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