Abbi Russell, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2058
CHEHALIS – The interchange at Interstate 5 and Chamber Way handles a lot of traffic for its compact size. A mix of local and interstate travelers uses the often-congested interchange to connect to nearby industrial and commercial areas.
On Monday, Sept. 9, traffic will get busier and space will get tighter as construction crews narrow the Chamber Way bridge over I-5 to two, 10-foot lanes and prepare to replace a damaged girder.
Starting at 7 p.m. Monday, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor Olivas Valdez Inc. will remove sidewalks on the bridge, narrow the lanes and build a work zone using temporary concrete barrier.
Travelers who use Chamber Way should plan for approximately six weeks of increased congestion and delays while the bridge is in the narrowed configuration. Congestion may be significantly worse during peak traffic hours and on weekends.
Trucks with wide loads and pedestrian traffic will not be able to cross the bridge while the lanes are narrowed.
Trucks with wide loads
Trucks with loads wider than the legal width of 8 feet, 6 inches must use pilot cars to cross while the lanes are narrowed. Detailed restriction information is available on WSDOT's Commercial Vehicle Services Web page.
Pedestrians must follow a signed detour using State Avenue, West Street and Louisiana Avenue.
Crews this week are preparing to remove a damaged girder in the southeast corner of the structure. After building their work zone Monday night, crews will install a beam to anchor the damaged girder, use concrete saws to cut through the bridge deck and remove the cut section of deck.
In mid-September, crews plan to remove the damaged girder and install the new, prefabricated girder. These activities will require full nighttime closures of I-5 and Chamber Way, to be announced when they are scheduled.
The I-5, Chamber Way Girder Replacement project replaces a girder damaged by strikes from over-height semi-truck loads. The $682,000 project is funded by the insurance company for the party responsible for damage. Work is expected to be complete in October.