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Friday, July 20, 2012
Jeff Adamson WSDOT communications 509-667-2815 (Wenatchee)
Bob Romine WSDOT project engineer 509-667-2880 (Wenatchee)
WENATCHEE – This 60 year old structure connecting Wenatchee and East Wenatchee has the distinction of carrying the highest daily volume of traffic of any highway in North Central Washington. Every day 52,000 trips over the bridge will be accomplished faster, easier and more safely by this time next year.
The final piece of the puzzle – The SR 285 West End George Sellar Bridge Intersection Improvements- will begin construction July 23. Wenatchee’s Selland Construction Co. crews will invest 255 working days between now and the fall of 2013 making major improvements to six intersections leading to and from the west end of the bridge while also widening the bridge over South Wenatchee Avenue along with a new off ramp to improve traffic flow.
This $9.8 million project will eliminate a major eastbound commuter congestion complaint – a weave where two lanes of traffic from Mission Street onto the bridge have to funnel into a single lane. The new widened bridge approach allows for the needed extra lane onto the five-lane bridge deck.
In 2009, the first project added another eastbound lane to the bridge and constructed a new pedestrian and bicycle path outside the superstructure on the south side of the bridge. Before that project was completed last year, the second project improving the east bridge intersections and approaches was underway. By this fall, the bypass of East Wenatchee’s busy Grant Road/SR 28 intersection will be in place improving traffic flow and reducing congestion.
Due to the high traffic volumes, significant effort went into staging the three projects to restrict traffic to the least extent possible. For this third project, which has the greatest impacts on traffic flow during construction, most of that work will be done at night.
“We have worked very closely with City of Wenatchee, property owners, businesses and a variety of other stakeholders from utilities to the railroad,” said WSDOT project engineer Bob Romine, “We think we’ve crafted a plan that will allow this important project to be built while making the inconveniences of the construction, at least, manageable.”
The first activities drivers will observe will be the erection of the construction signage and demolition work of the current sidewalks. The new sidewalks will be built to meet current American’s with Disabilities Act standards.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
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 www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.
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