CENTRALIA – The effort to widen Interstate 5 in Centralia reaches a major milestone on Thursday, Feb. 14, as crews pour the concrete deck for a new bridge over the Skookumchuck River.
Drivers on northbound I-5 between Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue will encounter a right-lane closure while crews work on the bridge. Work is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
“Pouring decks is a landmark for bridge construction,” said Colin Newell, Washington State Department of Transportation project engineer. “You’re tying the different parts of the bridge together, and after the concrete is poured and hardened, the bridge structure is basically complete.”
The bridge will eventually serve as the northbound collector distributor lane over the river. CD lanes help improve safety and mobility by eliminating merges between local and interstate traffic.
WSDOT has two more bridges to build for the first stage of the $155 million I-5, Mellen Street to Blakeslee Junction project. Crews are scheduled to pour the bridge deck for the southbound CD lane in late February, followed by the new Blakeslee Junction bridge deck in March. This work is weather-dependent.
The CD bridges will be complete next spring, while the rest of the nearly mile-long CD lanes will be finished as part of the second stage of construction, set to begin this summer. The entire project is scheduled for completion in early 2015.
This is the final project in the I-5, Mellen Street to Grand Mound project series, which improves 18 miles of the most important freight corridor on the West Coast and busiest travel route in western Washington.