LONGVIEW – After nine years and $56 million, the Washington State Department of Transportation has finished painting the State Route 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge.
Drivers can expect intermittent weekday lane shifts until the end of this month while crews complete minor touch-up work.
The 84-year-old bridge was painted in four phases over the course of nine years. The first phase, which applied primer to steel under the deck during a deck replacement project, was completed in 2004.
Two phases that stretched from 2006 to 2010 painted the towers in the Columbia River and supporting steel below the driving surface.
The most recent phase, completed by painting contractor Odyssey/Geronimo, was a three-year, $40 million contract to paint the superstructure – the soaring, latticed system of steel beams above the roadway.
“It’s definitely been a long haul,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Lori Figone. “The Lewis and Clark Bridge is a large and complex structure, the kind of bridge that takes a lot of time and labor to preserve. But now we’re done, and the new paint job should protect the bridge for about 20 years.”
Crews spent nearly 500 days cleaning and applying 26,500 gallons of paint to the superstructure. They blasted away rust and applied five coats of specialty bridge paint to the bare metal. The bridge was painted Washington Gray, its historic color and one of four standard WSDOT bridge colors.
WSDOT plans to apply fresh lane striping and replace 69 lights on the bridge next year.
The historic SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge was opened to traffic in 1929. The bridge spans the Columbia River between Longview and Rainier, Ore., and carries 21,000 vehicles a day.
This preservation project was funded through pre-existing state and 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The total cost was split evenly between WSDOT and the Oregon Department of Transportation, as are all bridge projects on the Columbia River between the two states.