BAY CENTER, Wash. - The US 101 Bone River Bridge was built in 1935 and has carried coastal drivers through 77 years of American history. On Monday, Aug. 6, contractor crews will begin work on a project that replaces the aging structure with a bridge that will stand strong into the future.
Age is only one reason why the Washington State Department of Transportation has prioritized the Bone River Bridge for replacement. With a narrow roadway, wood-bridge frame and timber-trestle base, the existing bridge doesn’t meet today’s structural, seismic or flood standards.
Crews with Cascade Bridge LLC will work through the next two years to demolish the existing bridge and build a new, 36-foot-wide, concrete bridge on US 101.
When the dust settles and the bridge opens, drivers will cross the river on a structure that can withstand coastal flooding and a 1,000-year earthquake event.
Crews’ first order of business is building a temporary, one-lane, detour structure just west of the existing bridge. Crews will shift US 101 traffic onto the detour this fall. An automated signal will alternate traffic until the new Bone River Bridge is opened in 2014.
Crews will also remove more than 70 creosote-treated timber piles from Bone River and restore an estimated 82 square feet of streambed.
The Bone River Bridge is located on Willapa Bay, about three miles north of the Bay Center peninsula, and carries an average of 2,700 daily drivers.
The $8.8 million project is scheduled for completion in 2014, and is the first of four bridge replacements planned for Pacific County.
Later this year, WSDOT will start work on three new bridges – on US 101 at the Middle Nemah River, and on SR 105 at Smith Creek and North River.
All four projects are funded through the 2005 gas tax package and pre-existing state funds.
Stay in the loop on construction-related traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s Travel Alerts and Southwest Region Construction Update Web pages.