Hoquiam, WA - Friday, WSDOT and its contractor, Quigg Bros.Inc., began drilling shafts to repair the bridge pier. Ten shafts, which are 160-foot-long steel casings, 36” in diameter will be drilled into the river bottom between now and mid-December. The work is subject to adverse weather conditions such as wind or strong tides, which may affect marine operations.
Crews will cast concrete caps on the tops of the completed shafts to serve as jacking platforms. The shafts will be used to pick up the load of the pier from the existing piles to support the bridge. These ten shafts will provide the capacity needed to safely open the bridge to traffic. A subsequent contract will be administered to complete the remaining repairs to the pier.
When will the bridge reopen?
WSDOT is still on track to open in January and for at least the next few weeks, crews will work 12-hour shifts, twice a day, six days a week.
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What about traffic impacts?
WSDOT is working with the city and community leaders to try to lessen the traffic impacts during the scheduled clam tides while keeping tourists aware that downtown Hoquiam businesses are open for business.
WSDOT is also working with local marine companies to see if vessel openings can be avoided during heavily traveled commute times.
Current bridge status
While the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge is closed, WSDOT is rerouting traffic over the nearby Riverside Bridge that has been reconfigured to accommodate a single lane of traffic in each direction.
WSDOT is limiting the hours that oversized and overweight vehicles may cross the Riverside Bridge to between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily. These restrictions are in the form of permits obtained through WSDOT’s Motor Carrier Services Office. More information is available on the WSDOT’s motor carrier website at www.wsdot.wa.gov/CommercialVehicle/default.htm.
Know before you go
Drivers can get ahead of congestion by calling 511 for real time traffic information. WSDOT also installed temporary traffic cameras on US 101 to help travelers plan ahead when traveling to the coast. North and southbound views of traffic conditions on US 101 are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US10 ... idgePierRepair/Camera.htm.