TOPPENISH – Slow-moving traffic and delays are in the rearview mirror as crews complete the final stages of construction on the new Satus Creek Bridge on US 97 south of Toppenish. As of 6 p.m., June 5, the Washington State Department of Transportation will open both lanes of traffic on the new alignment and return the speed limit to 65 mph.
The $13 million project replaced one of the last remaining wooden bridges in south central Washington with a wider concrete bridge. Crews also straightened the roadway in the vicinity of the bridge and repaved two miles of adjacent worn asphalt.
“Prior to construction, this was the narrowest section of US 97 between Toppenish and the Klickitat County line,” said Moe Davari, WSDOT project engineer. “The wider bridge and highway shoulders, along with the straighter roadway, all help to improve sight distance for drivers.”
Over the next several weeks, drivers may see crews along the roadside cleaning up and packing out. In the fall, crews will replant vegetation and minor traffic impacts are expected.
This vital north to south route connects central Washington to Oregon. On average 3,400 drivers, including 1,200 truckers, use this section of US 97 daily.