The Lewis and Clark Bridge Will be Closed for Construction in July

May 3, 2023
Construction will begin at 8 P.M. on July 16

The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is closing the Lewis and Clark Bridge in July for construction and it could remain closed for 8 days depending on how fast the work gets completed.

The transportation agency announced the timeline for the closure and repairs on Tuesday. Construction will begin at 8 P.M. on July 16, a few hours after the annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic utilizes the bridge that connects Washington and Oregon.

Originally, WSDOT announced the closure would be done after 6 days to provide time for the new concrete on the bridge to cure and fully solidify. An additional two days were added to the timeline to replace the damaged floor beam crews discovered earlier this spring.

“It’s a balance of doing the work that we know needs to be done as well as understanding this is a bi-state bridge that is required for the communities,” WSDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hanahan said.

This closure comes as a part of a $1 million construction project to replace finger joints at either end of the structure, which allows the bridge to flex and adapt to traffic. According to WSDOT Regional Director Carley Francis, the limitations on those joints had likely contributed to the damaged floor beam and other minor issues on the bridge.

“It’s a fundamental component and we see other issues come up when the bridge doesn’t have that freedom of motion,” Francis said.

Drivers will encounter delays and partial closures starting the week of June 12. The bridge will have single-lane most nights starting at 8 P.M. The bridge will have reduced speed limits and flaggers alternating traffic across the span. The structure will reopen at 7 A.M. weekday mornings and later on weekend mornings.

According to WSDOT, there will be no closures the week of July 4.

Drivers will have to detour over 50 miles to travel between Oregon and Washington. 

WSDOT has arranged for the Wahkiakum County Ferry to run twice an hour during the closure and will cover the cost of the ferry fees.


Source: WSDOT

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