Friday, August 3, 2012

SR 14 project moves one (exciting) step closer to completion

By guest blogger
Abbi Russell

Sometimes it’s not an activity itself that’s exciting, but the resulting ripple effect that brings a sense of anticipation and purpose.

Night time girder setting advances SR 14 project,
keeps traffic impacts in Washougal to a minimum.
Take, for instance, this week’s girder setting on State Route 14 in Washougal. Crews placed nine girders over Second Street Monday and Tuesday nights, essentially putting into place the backbone of a new bridge that will carry the highway up and over the cross street. Exciting, eh? Eh?

If you’re a transportation geek like me (and any number of people around here), this is great news. If you’re a driver passing by every day, it means things look a little different. Now there are some grey concrete bars connecting two grey concrete walls. Yay.

Girder setting may seem like a mundane milestone, but it’s an exciting one for us because it shows that things are moving forward. It shows that a project we and the community have been planning and laboring on for at least 10 years is actually coming to fruition.

Pretty soon, those grey concrete bars will support a bridge deck. And not long after that, the deck will support cars. Eventually, SR 14 will be a smooth-sailing, four-lane highway from I-5 to Washougal, bringing safer, faster trips to local drivers, tourists, and commerce. That’s a vision that’s been a long time coming – decades, in fact.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Crews still have a ton of work to do before we can open a wider SR 14 and two new interchanges to traffic. We plan to be finished late this year or early next year, and until then, we’ll keep celebrating each step that gets us there.

No comments: