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Budget Information

US 97 - Biggs Rapids-Sam Hill Bridge - Painting

This project is in the construction phase.
US 97 Biggs Bridge Painting thumbnail map
Click to enlarge 

Deteriorating paint and rust on the US 97 Biggs Bridge
The US 97 Biggs Bridge was last painted in 1988, and it's starting to show its age. This project will preserve the steel structure for the decades ahead. More photos


April 2016

  • Painting began in October 2014. 
  • Crews will start on the underside of the bridge working their way from the Washington end towards Oregon. After painting of the underside of the bridge is complete, they will work on the truss main-span.
  • There may be occasional nighttime, single-lane closures using an automated flagging device. Work is weather-dependent.
  • Project awarded to Intech Contracting LLC of Lexington, KY on June 2014
  • Project completion is anticipated for fall 2016.
  • Work was completed fall 2015.

The US 97 Biggs Rapids-Sam Hill Bridge is a vital transportation connection between Maryhill, Wash. and Biggs Junction, Ore. It carries an average of 5,100 vehicles across the Columbia River every day, 26 percent of which are semi-trucks.

This project cleans and paints the steel above and below the roadway. Paint, rust and other debris will be contained during construction to protect the environment.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is improving the interchange at US 97 and Interstate 84, and at the Biggs Junction in Sherman County. ODOT’s project will overlap with this painting project, and drivers should expect construction-related backups and delays on both sides of the bridge

Why is WSDOT painting the Biggs Bridge?
Like a home, steel bridges have to be painted on a regular basis to protect them from the elements.

The Biggs Bridge was last painted in 1988. The protective coating on the bridge is deteriorating, exposing the steel to the weather and elements, which has resulted in corrosion that can weaken the structure over time.

Stripping old paint and rust and reapplying specialty bridge paint will protect the structure for approximately 20 years.

The End Result
The steel framework of the bridge will be cleaned and repainted with a protective coating to prolong the life of this vital transportation connection.

Project Benefits

  • Preservation: Helps prevent future corrosion and preserves the bridge's structural integrity.
  • Economic: Preserves a vital bi-state transportation connection, allowing it to continue handling commuter and freight traffic for years to come.

What is the project timeline?

  • Fall 2009: Preliminary design and environmental documentation began. 
  • Spring 2014: Project scheduled to be advertised to contractors.
  • Summer 2014: Construction scheduled to begin.
  • Fall 2016: Construction scheduled for completion.

Financial Information

Financial Data for PIN 409712P
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $9,785
Total $9,785

Project signage will reflect the cost of construction engineering, project bid award and sales tax.

How can I get more information?
WSDOT Columbia Gorge Area Project Office
11018 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682
Phone: 360-759-1310


Bart Treece
WSDOT Communications
11018 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682
Phone: 360-905-2058

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