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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Joe Irwin, WSDOT communications, 360-357-2703 (Tumwater)
Jeff Cook, project engineer, 360-874-3010 (Port Orchard)
BREMERTON – The middle of the Port Washington Narrows became a meeting place today as residents and visitors met halfway between Manette and Bremerton to shake hands and celebrate the bridge under their feet
The new Manette bridge opened amidst cheers, speeches and music at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. The event was attended by more than 400 people and marked the end of a four-month closure, during which crews completed the construction of a wider, safer structure.
“This was an 80-year-old bridge badly in need of replacement, and federal dollars directed at the nation’s aging infrastructure helped us get the job done,” said Paula Hammond, state transportation secretary. “We see this new bridge as an asset to the community, as well as another successful addition to this area’s booming revitalization.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony brought dignitaries well-known in Kitsap County, including Congressman Norm Dicks, Rep. Judy Clibborn and Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, and a unique historic flair as some of the first people to cross the original Manette bridge in 1930 were also in attendance.
Replacing the aging bridge required teamwork from all agencies involved, said Dicks.
“So much hard work and effort has happened to make this day a reality. This bridge is a true testament to the word unity,” Dicks said. “After more than 80 years, the old Manette bridge was no longer structurally sound. A replacement was needed and everyone worked together – the city, county, state and federal governments – to make sure that a new bridge could be built to serve as a vital link between Bremerton and Manette.”
While final touchups and installation work is still occurring on the railing adjacent to the pedestrian walkway, the bridge features 11-foot-wide lanes and 5-foot-wide shoulders. Once complete, the 10-foot-wide pedestrian walkway will provide access across the bridge to an expanded Whitey Domstad Viewscape in Manette.
Staging cranes for ongoing demolition of the majority of the old bridge will require one-way, alternating traffic across the new Manette Bridge and intersections at either end from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday until January 2012. In-water demolition of the old bridge’s concrete supports will be a separate contract and is scheduled to occur next year. In-water work will not affect bridge traffic.
In addition to constructing a new, wider bridge, the $60 million project removes the old bridge and builds a new roundabout that improves safety and traffic flows in Manette.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
• Project website www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr303/manettebridgereplacement
• Event photos www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157622243275231/
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at http://wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/ or by dialing 5-1-1.
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