Abbi Russell, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2058
MENLO – Drivers who travel State Route 6 should plan for congestion and delays at the Willapa River Bridge starting Monday, Aug. 12, as bridge replacement work gets into full swing.
Contractor crews working with the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the eastbound lane of the bridge Monday evening. An automated signal will alternate traffic across the bridge using the westbound lane. Drivers could see delays of up to 20 minutes.
Traffic across the bridge will be relegated to a single lane this summer and into fall while WSDOT’s contractor builds concrete shafts and abutments for the new bridge.
“The new bridge is being built about 12 feet away from the old bridge,” said WSDOT project engineer Colin Newell. “When we excavate to build the foundation, we’ll be removing a lot of soil just a few feet from SR 6. Until we build the foundation and replace that supporting soil, we want to keep drivers shifted over into the westbound lane as a precaution.”
WSDOT expects to reopen both lanes to traffic in November 2013. The new bridge is scheduled for completion in fall 2014.
WSDOT is replacing the existing 84-year-old Willapa River Bridge with a wider, more modern structure. The new 36-foot-wide bridge will be built to current seismic and flood standards, and better meet the needs of today’s traffic.
This $7 million gas-tax-funded project will help improve traffic flow on this key connection between Interstate 5 and coastal communities.