VANCOUVER – Two cranes, 34 concrete girders and two weeks of heavy lifting will add up to one major milestone as the Washington State Department of Transportation moves closer to a new interchange at Northeast 139th Street.
This morning, crews with Max J. Kuney Construction will set the first bridge girders on the new interchange, just west of Interstate 5. The girders form the backbone of the new Northeast 139th Street bridge, which will eventually carry drivers over the I-5/I-205 junction and help alleviate traffic congestion in the busy Salmon Creek area.
Drivers will see weekday, short-term closures on Northeast 139th Street between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 11, through Wednesday, March 20. Flaggers will close the arterial between Northeast Tenney Road and Northeast10th Avenue for ten-minute intervals while the girders are delivered to the project site.
The girders are between 110 and 150 feet long and weigh up to 63 tons. Two massive cranes will lift the girders onto the bridge piers, where crew members will carefully adjust, align and secure each girder in place.
“Girder installation is a very visual milestone,” said WSDOT Project Manager Allen Hendy. “This is the point in the construction process when you can really start to see the new interchange take shape.”
There’s still a lot of shaping work left to do before the project is complete in 2014. Crews are building the foundation for the eastern half of the interchange, forming walls and excavating dirt to make way for the ramps that will connect the new bridge to the interstates.
The Northeast 139th Street interchange is the fourth and final stage of a $133 million partnership project between WSDOT and Clark County Public Works.