Bart Treece, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2058
ONALASKA – All traffic on State Route 508 will be detoured around the South Fork Newaukum River Bridge beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 11, until Thursday, Jan. 22.
The Washington State Department of Transportation will close the bridge to allow for maintenance crews to build a temporary single-lane Bailey bridge across the aging structure.
Once complete, the Bailey bridge will allow drivers and freight haulers to safely cross the Newaukum River Bridge until WSDOT can finish design and construction on its replacement. Construction on the new SR 508 South Fork Newaukum River Bridge is expected to being in late-2016 and open to traffic in 2018.
“Closing the bridge is not something we want to do, it’s something we need to do to ensure the safety of the traveling public,” said WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator Bart Gernhart. “Our crews will be working hard to get people moving again across a temporary span.”
A seven ton weight restriction had been in place since repairs were completed in July 2012. However, additional WSDOT monitoring revealed that overweight loads continue to cross, adding stress on the steel truss support members and accelerating the deterioration of the vulnerable structure.
Drivers should use US 12 to reach their destinations, and follow the signed detour:
WSDOT maintenance will begin assembling the Bailey bridge immediately following the temporary closure of the SR 508 South Fork Newaukum River Bridge. Crews will also reinforce four bridge support piers, build additional approach ramps, as well as install new guardrail and pavement markings.
Rules of the road
Once opened, the weight restriction will be lifted, and traffic will alternate directions across the single-lane temporary span. Stops signs at both ends of the bridge will be in place along with directions for drivers to allow on-coming traffic to clear before proceeding across.
The SR 508 South Fork Newaukum River Bridge is located five miles east of Onalaska and carries about 1,400 vehicles a day.