Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Plan for eight overnight closures of the northbound US 101 Hoquiam River/Riverside Bridge this June and July

UPDATE: 9:15 a.m. Friday, July 14, 2023

Please note overnight closures scheduled for July 17-19 have been cancelled due to materials delay. Advance notice will be provided when the closures are rescheduled.

UPDATE: 3:05 p.m. Thursday, June 15, 2023

Please note overnight closures scheduled to begin on Thursday, June 15 have been rescheduled. The first in a series of overnight closures of the Riverside Bridge will begin Tuesday, June 20.

By Angela Cochran

If you’re like us, you’ve been dreaming of warm days, lying on sandy shores and gazing at sparkling blue waters with an ice cold *insert beverage of choice* in hand since – let’s be honest – November. Now that summer is well on its way, you can finally make that dream come true! To make the road trip there as fun as possible, you’ll want to plan for construction along the way.

It’s no secret that travelers all over the state will see roadwork on many state routes and highways this spring and summer. One of the projects that could affect your trip to the beach is starting soon in Hoquiam. The machine rooms on the northbound US 101 Hoquiam River Bridge, known locally as the Riverside Bridge, will get repairs and upgrades.

The Riverside Bridge is on northbound US 101/Riverside Avenue.

Why we have to close the road

While not technically roadwork, we do have to close the bridge to road traffic eight times throughout the project. The good news is that the closures will take place overnight. We also are not allowing any closures on weekends. However, be aware that if you’re traveling during the week, you may see some single-lane closures during daytime that could slow you down.

The project will kick off with a left-lane closure on June 14 as our contractor, Rognlin’s Inc., will remove the railing and roof from the machine room in the west tower.

Later in the project, on July 11, we will close the right lane during the day while crews do the same work on the east machine room.

We know there will be additional single-lane closures but just aren’t sure when yet. We will post the information as soon as we get it on the real-time travel map and our app. Construction schedules are sometimes hard to nail down (pun intended) because they depend on variables like weather and material availability.

If you’re traveling at night, though, you’ll encounter another challenge when the bridge closes to traffic. The good news is we already know those dates so you can plan for the detour.

Work on the bridge will involve several overnight full closures in June and July.

Overnight bridge full closure schedule


  • 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 20 to 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 21.
  • 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 21 to 5:30 a.m. Thursday, June 22.
  • 9 p.m. Thursday, June 22 to 5:30 a.m. Friday, June 23.

Detouring around the project

We won’t leave you stranded on the east side of the Hoquiam River during the closures. A signed detour will guide you over the Simpson Avenue Bridge, which normally only allows southbound traffic. A flagger will direct northbound and southbound traffic one direction at a time over the bridge. Please be patient and safe around the flagger and other road workers.

Northbound US 101 travelers will detour via the Simpson Avenue Bridge where a flagger
will keep people moving one direction at a time.

About our machine rooms

Now that the logistics are covered, you may still be wondering what in the world a machine room is. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a room full of machines. These machines operate the equipment that moves the middle of the bridge up and down during a boat opening. There are two machine rooms on the Hoquiam River Bridge, one at the top of each tower. They look like metal boxes from a distance.

The machine rooms are located at the top of the bridge’s towers and contain
the equipment that helps operate the bridge.

Built in 1970, the bridge requires a lot of maintenance to keep it in good working order. Maintaining the machine rooms became challenging in fall 2019 when the roofs started leaking. If you live or regularly travel through Hoquiam, you may have seen some bridge closures due to equipment failure during heavy rains. We’ve made some temporary fixes along the way to keep it operating.

This work will provide a permanent fix. Crews will use a large crane to lift new walls and roofs for the towers. They will also paint the operating room and replace the door. This is a separate space that houses the controls for crews to operate the bridge. Overall, this project will help prevent future closures due to equipment failure and keep our bridge operators and maintenance crews safe.

Keeping our crews and all users of the roadways safe is very important to us, and you can help with that. Please pack your patience along with your sunscreen and beach gear. Slow down and pay attention when passing through work zones. Don’t worry, the beach will still be fun even if it takes a little longer to get there.