Local Information

Paint does a bridge good: SR 20 Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges to get new protective coat

Friday, March 15, 2019 - 09:37

Ally Barrera, WSDOT communications, 206-440-4457
Shane Spahr, WSDOT project engineer, 360-848-7103
Meryl Lipman, communications consultant, Washington State Parks, (360) 902-8557
Joy Kacoroski, interpretive specialist, Deception Pass State Park, (360) 675-3767

Whidbey Island travelers and park visitors should plan for traffic delays, less parking near bridges

OAK HARBOR – Just like milk fortifies our bones to keep them strong and durable, so will a new paint job on the Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges on State Route 20. While there will be minimal effects on daytime traffic, Whidbey Island neighbors and Deception Pass State Park visitors will want to carefully plan their evening trips through this area.

On May 6, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews with Eagle Industrial Painting, LLC, will begin a two-year repainting and repair project on these two iconic structures that connect Whidbey Island to the rest of Washington State.

Paint as protector
The two bridges last received a fresh coat more than 20 years ago. In the years since, saltwater and sun exposure corroded some areas of the bridges. Left untreated, it could weaken the bridges over time.

“More than 18,000 people rely on these bridges every day as the only land access on and off Whidbey Island,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Shane Spahr. “This new paint, along with the removal and replacement of the corroded sections, will help protect the steel from the elements for decades.”

Daytime and nighttime work
Crews will work day and night to complete this project in two years. Day shifts are scheduled to begin two hours after sunrise, Monday through SaturdayThis is when crews will perform the noisiest work, like sandblasting, vacuuming and painting. Most of this work will take place under the bridges, allowing all lanes of SR 20 to remain open during the day.

During the night shift, crews will deliver materials and equipment for the following day and reduce SR 20 to a single lane with alternating traffic. Lane reductions will happen Saturdays through Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly, which means late night travelers should plan for delays.

Crews will work through the winter, weather permitting, and expect to wrap up this $22.6 million project in fall 2020.

Deception Pass State Park
Park visitors can still enjoy the bridges during construction, but should expect loud construction noise during the day and some noise overnight.

Available parking near Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges will also be limited as crews stage equipment along SR 20.

Travelers to Deception Pass can use the park’s webpage to plan their trip and find additional information, such as:

  • The layout of the park.
  • Other available parking areas with hiking access to the bridges.
  • Other areas of the park with views of the bridges, including the Goose Rock/Perimeter Trail, Hoypus Point, Lottie Point and the Deception Pass Amphitheater.
  • Staff-led educational programs to learn more about the bridges.
  • Alerts on parking changes or park closures.

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