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New I-5 bridge at Blakeslee Junction takes shape

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Date:  Friday, January 04, 2013

Contact: Colin Newell, WSDOT project engineer, 360-740-8600 (Chehalis)
Abbi Russell, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2058 (Vancouver)

CENTRALIA – Crews widening Interstate 5 in Centralia have spent the last seven months building support structures for a new Interstate 5 bridge over West Reynolds Avenue. Next Wednesday night, they’ll set the first of 18 girders to start forming the bridge deck.

To complete this work, crews must close West Reynolds Avenue at I-5 for three nights:

• Wednesday, Jan. 9, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
• Thursday, Jan. 10, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
• Friday, Jan. 11, 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

These closures give crews room to stage two huge cranes that will lift and place the girders on the new support structures. The girders vary in length from 110 feet to 165 feet.

The I-5 Blakeslee Junction bridge is one element of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s I-5, Mellen Street to Blakeslee Junction project. The new bridge will improve sight distance and reduce the curve for drivers north of Harrison Avenue.

Crews are on track to complete the bridge this spring, a critical window for starting the second stage of this $155 million gas-tax funded project. During Stage 2, the bridge will carry both directions of I-5 traffic while crews demolish the existing bridge and build a second new bridge.

The second bridge will eventually carry three lanes of northbound traffic when the entire project is complete in early 2015.

Sign up online to receive email updates and follow the project through construction. Stay in the loop on construction-related traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s travel alerts and Southwest Region construction update Web pages, or download WSDOT’s mobile app.


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