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

Bridge closures to go ahead as planned

Update: Monday closure cancelled


August 8, 2019

Update: On Thursday, the Department of Transportation announced an modification of the night time closures of the Puget Island bridge: The planned closure for Monday night has been cancelled.

The announcement said that, "due to equipment availability, the bridge closure scheduled overnight Monday, Aug. 12 has been canceled. The first full closure of the SR 409 Puget Island Bridge will begin Tuesday, Aug. 13, for final paving work."

The schedule is now:

· Canceled - Beginning at 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12 until 5 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13

· Beginning at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13 until 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14

· Beginning at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14 until 5 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15

· Beginning at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15 until 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16

The around-the-clock, single lane closure of the bridge will remain in place until construction is complete.

WSDOT responds to county request

In response to request from Wahkiakum County officials to delay night time closures of the Puget Island bridge to accommodate county fair traffic next week, the Washington State Department of Transportation has decided to continue the project as planned. Following is an explanation issued Wednesday afternoon from the project engineer:

“Several community members have contacted us this week requesting that we delay the bridge closures scheduled for next week. We wanted to follow up with everyone to explain our approach.

“We have been in contact with our Prime Contractor and Sub Contractors so they are all aware of the fair and the travel concerns. We are making every effort to have the least impact on fairgoers. Conversations over the past couple days have revealed that a request to delay the work could result in the paving work not being completed this year, causing the bridge deck to remain as is through another winter.

“Here’s why…

“· Several contractors, equipment and materials are needed to do the final paving work. Contractors work on multiple projects at the same time and are scheduled out weeks in advance. Commitments to do work on other projects and equipment/staff availability means there is no guarantee all of the contractors schedules would line up to do the paving work later in the summer.

“· The paving window for the bridge runs only through the end of August due to the curing time needed for the asphalt. If all of the contractors, equipment and materials are not able to reschedule when we request them to, the bridge deck could remain as is over the winter.

“What’s WSDOT doing

“· To have the least impact on the community, we are working with our contractors to try and complete the work as quickly and safely as possible.

“· We may have some flexibly to start the work later than 9 p.m. on Thursday, but that could mean a later than 5 a.m. opening time the following morning.

“We may will not need the full overnight bridge closure on Thursday into Friday; that said, this is the first time we’re using this particular protective waterproofing membrane (which sits between the deck and asphalt) and priming materials. To best serve the community and get the work done as soon as possible, we are working with all of the contractors to complete the work as quickly as possible during the scheduled closures next week. I will send out an update on Wednesday next week about the progress and what to expect.

“Thank you for your patience as we work to complete this project ahead of schedule and on budget. To streamline correspondence, and ensure you are getting the most updated information, please connect with me if you have follow up questions or concerns regarding the upcoming bridge closures.”

Joanna Lowrey, PE

WSDOT Kelso Area Engineer


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