Simpson Bridge open after beam repairs

HOQUIAM — The Simpson Avenue Bridge reopened Wednesday evening after crews repaired damage caused by impact with a vehicle.

The incident began about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday when the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office alerted WSDOT maintenance crews about impact damage to a structural beam on the bridge. Crews immediately closed one lane of the bridge, assessed damage and contacted WSDOT bridge engineers. The engineers determined that a damaged portion of beam needed to be removed and a new structural beam needed to be installed. Other accidents snarled bridge traffic as the morning wore on, and the bridge was completely shut down while the repairs were made. Traffic was diverted over the Riverside bridge for the remainder of the day.

Over the next 11 hours, maintenance and bridge crews worked to remove the damaged beam, install a new beam and disassemble the detour route. The bridge reopened to traffic at about 6:30 p.m.

Construction crews are also working on the bridge in a separate effort to reinforce piers. That work is unrelated to, and unaffected by, Wednesday’s repairs.