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Willapa River Bridge construction continues

November 7, 2013

Drivers on the Willapa River Bridge will get a front-row seat next week for a major milestone on a new bridge under construction just 12 feet away from the one they’re crossing.

On Nov. 11 and 12, crews will set 12 concrete girders for the new bridge spanning the river that replaces the steel-truss bridge drivers have used since 1929.

The girders – ranging from 75 to 125 feet long – are prefabricated in Tacoma and delivered to the construction site, ready to set. Crews will use a crane to place each girder on the piers they’ve been building since August.

Once the girders are set and secured, crews will work during the winter to build the 275-foot-long bridge deck.

The concrete will take several weeks to cure. Once curing is underway, workers will build other features of the bridge, such as concrete barrier and bridge railing. They will also construct new bridge approaches and prepare to realign SR 6 so the existing highway ties into the new structure.

WSDOT expects to open the new bridge to drivers and demolish the old bridge by fall 2014.

WSDOT is replacing the existing Willapa River Bridge with a wider, more modern structure. The new 36-foot-wide bridge will better meet the needs of today’s drivers and help improve traffic flow on this key connection between Interstate 5 and coastal communities.

The $6.3 million project is funded by the 2005 gas tax and other state highway-improvement funds.

Photo taken by Michael Goff on August 1, 2009

Categories: Harbor News
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