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US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge reopens to traffic

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Date:  Friday, November 09, 2012

Contact: Kelly Stowe , WSDOT Communications, 360-357-2716 (Tumwater)

HOQUIAM – Good news for Grays Harbor businesses and drivers is arriving just in time for the busy holiday shopping season – the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge will reopen one week ahead of schedule.

The Washington State Department of Transportation closed the bridge on Monday, Oct. 22, while its contractor, Bergerson Construction, Inc., has repaired and stabilized the bridge.

Crews have completed work faster than anticipated and the bridge is now scheduled to reopen by 6 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11. The bridge was originally scheduled to remain closed for four weeks.

Following the closure, crews will also return the Riverside Bridge, which was reconfigured to two-way traffic during the closure, back to its original one-way configuration.

“Crews have worked diligently to get the bridge reopened before the big holiday shopping season,” said Scott Ireland, WSDOT project engineer. “We know what the bridge means to the local businesses, and we’re very excited to open it a week early.”

In the three weeks the bridge has been closed to traffic, crews have been working to complete the remaining stabilization work on the bridge by:
• installing two additional pier supports at the northeast and southeast corners of the pier;
• strengthening the walls of the existing pier;
• transferring the remaining weight of the pier onto the two new supports;
• removing the temporary tie-back anchors and cables;
• and removing and replacing / the pier fender protection system.

There is still work to be done under the 1927-era bridge, but none that require traffic impacts. Once all repairs are complete, the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge piers will be reinforced and the entire bridge will be more reliable.

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