HOQUIAM, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Transportation summarizes the week following the Simpson Avenue bridge closure, detour, plans, and accommodations for SR 101 travellers.
Public safety is a top priority
Aug. 5, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge to vehicle traffic because of concerns about its structural integrity. Engineers found severe degradation of piles that support the easterly pier. The closure remains in place until further notice.
What happened this week?
WSDOT staff met with the Hoquiam City Council Monday, Aug. 9, and announced a temporary fix is being designed and engineers hope to have traffic back on the bridge by mid-September. Those repairs are expected to cost $2 million, and a permanent repair – which begins design as soon as the temporary fix is complete – could cost between $10 and $20 million. WSDOT is working closely with the City of Hoquiam and legislators to make the solution a reality as swiftly as possible.
Know before you go
Traffic increases noticeably between May and October as tourists visit nearby ocean beaches via US 101. Drivers can get ahead of congestion by calling 511 for real time traffic. WSDOT also installed temporary traffic cameras on US 101 to help travelers plan ahead when traveling to the coast. North and southbound views are available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US10 ... dgePierRepair/Camera.htm.
Current bridge status
Currently the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge is closed to vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The Riverside Bridge has been reconfigured to accommodate a single lane of traffic in each direction.
Bridge engineers are allowing one marine opening per day at high-slack tide. Openings are being carefully monitored and executed using only the west bascule. A calendar of the scheduled openings is available on the website at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US10 ... /MarineVesselOpenings.htm.
Oversize and overweight vehicles are only permitted to cross the Riverside Bridge between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Information is available on the WSDOT’s motor carrier website at www.wsdot.wa.gov/CommercialVehicle/default.htm.
Looking ahead to next week
Previously scheduled repair work occurs on the west end of US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge. Crews will repair sections of bridge deck and expansion joints damaged by a third party earlier this year. This work is separate from the pier repair. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Monday, Aug. 16, through Friday, Aug. 20.
What about businesses?
Local companies remain open throughout the closure. WSDOT is committed to helping the community retain business through outreach that announces the “best times to travel” instead of telling motorists to “avoid the area” and providing additional signing to alert drivers of the downtown Hoquiam area.