Source: Washington State News 2
Celeste Dimichina, communications, 360-905-2057
KLICKITAT – For the last several years, travel across the US 97 Satus Creek Bridge has been limited due to a weight restriction – but all of that is about to change with the construction of a new replacement bridge.
On Monday, July 13, the Washington State Department of Transportation and their contractor, Cascade Bridge, LLC will begin work to replace the existing two-lane, concrete voided slab bridge with a new bridge that meets current structural design requirements and safety standards.
“We understand that there is no good time to replace a bridge,” said Mike Briggs, WSDOT project engineer. “Replacing the existing aging and failing bridge with a new concrete structure will benefit all travelers by improving safety and mobility for many years to come.”
To reduce delays during construction, travelers will be shifted onto a temporary bypass bridge structure, which will be built alongside the existing US 97 – Satus Creek Bridge. This temporary bridge structure will keep traffic moving during construction, reduce delays and it will not be weight restricted.
Since October 2011, a weight restriction has been in place that limits vehicles crossing Satus Creek Bridge to no more than 20,000 pounds per axle. For commercial freight vehicles transporting goods and services to the Yakama Nation Reservation communities along US 97 this restriction forces them to find an alternate route, resulting in longer travel times and delays in deliveries.
Currently, this stretch of highway sees approximately 3,900 vehicles a day, including freight vehicles. Due to weather, wear and tear from the traveling public and damage caused by the scouring effects of Satus Creek to the bridge piers, the bridge has reached the end of its useful life.
This $4.8 million dollar project is scheduled for completion in winter 2021.