PE ELL – Drivers who travel State Route 6 should plan for construction and delays as the Washington State Department of Transportation replaces two aging bridges in western Lewis County. The bridges, which both span Rock Creek just west of Pe Ell, were built in 1924.
This spring, drivers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, while contractor Scarsella Bros. Inc. builds alternate routes around the existing bridges.
The speed limit in the work zone has also been reduced from 55 mph to 35 mph.
Scarsella Bros. is working on both bridges simultaneously. Crews at the east bridge will build a temporary detour bridge so they can demolish the existing bridge and build a new one in the same spot. Crews working on the west bridge will shift traffic slightly to the south to provide space to work on a new bridge right alongside the existing one.
The two-lane alternate routes are expected to be complete and traffic shifted over this summer. Crews will then begin construction on the new bridges.
Crews will also reconstruct the nearby intersection of SR 6 and McCormick Creek Road to help improve sight distance and safety for drivers turning onto the highway.
The $14.5 million gas-tax funded project is expected to be complete in fall 2015.
WSDOT is replacing the existing 90-year-old Rock Creek bridges with wider, more modern structures to help improve traffic flow on this key connection between Interstate 5 and coastal communities. The new bridges will be built to current seismic and flood standards, and will better meet the needs of today’s traffic.