Minor delays as bridge work continues

BAY CENTER — Crews building a wider, safer crossing on US 101 at Bone River will reach a major milestone this week when they set eight girders on the new bridge.

On Friday, March 8, drivers will see minor delays as crews set the large concrete girders. Starting at 8 a.m., flaggers working with the Washington State Department of Transportation will intermittently halt traffic while trucks deliver the girders to the construction site. Drivers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes.

The girders measure between 90 and 140 feet long and weigh up to 72 tons. They form the backbone of the new bridge, which is being built to withstand coastal flooding and a 1,000-year earthquake event.

Eight of the bridge’s 12 girders will be installed on Friday, with the final four scheduled for installation in April. Later this spring, crews will pour concrete for the new bridge deck.

This work is part of the $8.8 million US 101, Bone River Bridge Replacement project. The project is funded through the 2005 gas tax package and pre-existing state funds, and is scheduled for completion in 2014.

The Bone River Bridge is located on Willapa Bay, about three miles north of the Bay Center peninsula. About 2,700 travelers cross the bridge daily.