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Friday, July 15, 2011
Jeff Cook, Project Engineer, 360-874-3010 (Port Orchard)
WSDOT Communications, 360-357-2789 (Tumwater)
BREMERTON – Travel between Manette and Bremerton will get a bit more challenging for four months starting next weekend, but instead of cursing this fact, the communities most affected are cheering it.
Residents will host a parade across the old Manette Bridge next Sunday to recognize the historic transportation opportunities provided by the aging span and look forward to the new opportunities offered when the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and contractor Manson-Mowat open the new Manette bridge in November.
Fittingly, classic cars will be the final vehicles to make their way across the 80-year-old bridge before it closes to all traffic at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 24. Following the parade, the bridge will close to drivers for four months.
“Next Sunday is a big day for this project and a big day for the community,” said Jeff Cook, WSDOT project engineer. “It marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. It also starts our four-month closure and countdown to opening the new bridge.”
Drivers will detour to the Warren Avenue Bridge, which is located about one mile away. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the old Manette bridge, except during two separate two-week closures at the beginning and the end of the four-month period. During those closures, pedestrians and bicyclists can take Kitsap Transit’s Manette Closure Shuttle, or routes 21, 25 and 29. The two-week full closures will allow crews to complete concrete placement, make connections between land-based approaches and the new bridge, and demolish sections of the existing bridge.
“These closures will affect anyone who travels between Bremerton and Manette, and while Kitsap Transit is offering a number of options to access both communities, the best thing people can do – whether they decide to catch a bus or drive – is plan ahead,” Cook said.
Local travelers can expect to see more congestion during the four-month closure as the majority of the 12,000 drivers who use the Manette Bridge daily join the 40,000 daily drivers on the Warren Avenue Bridge.
The $60 million Manette Bridge Project removes the old bridge and replaces it with a new span that features two 11-foot-wide lanes, two 5-foot-wide shoulders, a 10-foot-wide walking path and a new roundabout that will improve safety and traffic flow. For more information, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr303/manettebridgereplacement.
For parade-specific information, contact Bremerton Public Works at 360-473-5315.
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