CHEHALIS – The construction contract to replace a damaged girder on the Chamber Way bridge over Interstate 5 was awarded this week to Olivas Valdez Inc. of Woodland.
The Washington State Department of Transportation expects to start construction in mid-August and complete the work in October.
The Chamber Way bridge has been struck three times in the last 10 months by over-height loads. Two of the three strikes significantly damaged a girder at the southeast end of the bridge. WSDOT is replacing the girder to maintain the structure’s strength and keep traffic flowing on this important local connection.
At a public meeting in May, WSDOT presented options for construction and heard feedback from neighbors, businesses and local agencies.
“By and large, people wanted us to keep two lanes open on Chamber Way during construction,” said WSDOT project engineer Chris Tams. “In order to do that and still have some room to work, we’ll have to narrow the lanes and remove the shoulders and sidewalks for about six weeks.”
During construction, the Chamber Way bridge will be narrowed to two 10-foot-wide lanes. Trucks with over-width loads will not be able to use the bridge until construction is complete.
Pedestrians will be able to follow a signed detour using State Street, West Street and Louisiana Avenue.
Other traffic impacts include some overnight, full closures of northbound I-5 and Chamber Way when workers remove the damaged girder and set the new one into place. WSDOT will announce the closures once they are scheduled.
The project is estimated at $682,000, funded by the insurance company for the party responsible for damage.