The US 395/SR 20 Columbia River bridge will get new pavement this summer as a much-needed improvement project gets under way. The work addresses more than seven decades of wear and tear that have taken their toll on the roadway in the form of cracks and dozens of potholes.
Crews will resurface the entire roadway across the bridge starting in July, but before the Washington State Department of Transportation starts the four-month long project it will host an informational open house to discuss anticipated traffic impacts, oversize load restrictions and a lengthy detour route.
“This bridge is a critical link between Stevens and Ferry counties,” said Keith Metcalf, WSDOT regional administrator. “With everything from 10-minute delays to full nighttime closures coming down the pipe, it’s important that we meet with drivers to discuss how they’ll be affected, and what they can and should do to plan ahead.”
The open house is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, at the Stevens County Sheriff/Ambulance Training Room, 425 N. Hwy 395 in Colville. WSDOT engineers will be in attendance to explain the project and the detour route.
WSDOT’s contractor will rebuild the bridge roadway one side at a time, removing two inches of the existing concrete surface, repairing the underlying concrete where it’s needed, and then repaving the bridge with a new concrete layer. To keep traffic moving during the bridge repairs, temporary traffic signals will be placed at either end of the bridge allowing alternating traffic to cross. Signal cycles will be about 10 minutes.
“The typical driver who uses this bridge during the day should expect delays,” Metcalf said. “It’s the late-night/early-morning drivers and those who have oversize loads that really have to pay attention during the project. We can’t accommodate oversize loads, and we’ll need to completely close the bridge anywhere from 15 to 20 nights during the project. The detour is 68 miles.”
Throughout the project loads over 8 feet, six inches wide must detour via SR 25 to Northport, then back to US 395 via the Northport/Flat Creek Road. The same route will be required of all non-emergency vehicles during full closures, which will take place between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. during 15 to 20 days of the job. The full closures are needed to place concrete and stage needed equipment.
To find out more about the project, visit the project web site at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US395/KettleFallsBridge/