Friday, June 26, 2015

Five consecutive nights of Deception Pass bridges closures start July 12

by Tom Pearce

We’ve been telling you for several months that we’ll have five nightly closures to repave the Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges as part of our SR 20 Frostad Road to Sharpes Corner paving project. We finally have a starting time and date – 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 12.

Our contractor needs to do this work on five consecutive nights, starting on a Sunday. The schedule is extremely weather dependent. Rain or cool temperatures could delay the start of work a week or more.

Bridge closures
We need overnight full bridge closures because the roadway on the bridge deck is just 22 feet wide. That’s too narrow to allow paving equipment and traffic on the bridge at the same time. The closures will be:
  • Sunday night, July 12, to Friday morning, July 17.
  • Closed nightly from 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
  • Extra ferry sailings are planned on the Mukilteo/Clinton route, leaving Clinton at 9 p.m., 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. and leaving Mukilteo at 9:30 p.m., 2, 3 and 4 a.m.
  • If there is a delay, we’ll post it on the project website, our Facebook page and on the WSDOT traffic Twitter feed  as soon as we hear about it.

Rehabilitating the bridge
This is critical work to maintain these 80-year-old bridges and keep them open for drivers. It’s been about 20 years since we last rehabilitated these bridges, and the decks are worn out. They have cracks and ruts and minor damage below the surface. If we don’t repair them before there is further damage, the pavement will continue to deteriorate. That could create a safety hazard for drivers or require unscheduled emergency closures with little or no notice to drivers.

During the nightly10-hour closures our contractor will:
  • Grind off the old asphalt
  • Repair the deck
  • Repair the bridge joints
  • Repair drainage
  • Repave the deck
When the bridges are open
The bridges will be open to all traffic daily from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in between the nightly closures. When the bridges are open, the roadway will be very rough and drivers should expect bumps at the expansion joints. Be ready for slower traffic.

Thanks for your patience as we complete this important work. We know it’s inconvenient for some people who rely on the bridge during the overnight hours, and it will be rough for those who will use the roadway in between our contractor’s work shifts. But when we’re finished, the five nights of work will provide years and years of smooth roadway.