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Olympic Region Bridge Cleaning Program

I-5 Nisqually River Bridges
Nisqually River Bridges re-painted

SR 305 Agate Pass Bridge
Photo of the Agate Pass Bridge

Upcoming bridge cleaning projects

Cleaning bridges improves the efficiency of WSDOT's bridge inspection and maintenance program and helps extend the bridges' useful life. During routine bridge cleanings, drivers may encounter single or multiple lane closures. Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead to avoid delays. 

Why clean bridges?

WSDOT has the responsibility of maintaining bridges along our state's highways. For the bridges to be thoroughly inspected, an equally thorough deep cleaning of the bridge deck and support areas is required. Cleaning the bridge improves the efficiency of WSDOT's rigorous bridge inspection program and is required by the Federal Highway Administration.

Why is work performed during the day and not at night?

In many cases, the bridge is being hand cleaned. Daylight is often necessary to ensure that the maneuvering of Under Bridge Inspection Trucks (UBITs) through steel truss members of a bridge is done so safely and accurately. Safety concerns for bridge maintenance crews, the traveling public, and limited workspace requires this work to be performed during daylight hours.    

The end result

The deep-cleaning, inspection and any subsequent repairs will ensure that bridges in the Olympic Region continue to function for all motorists. 

How many bridges are cleaned each year?

WSDOT crews have averaged nearly 30 bridges each year throughout the seven county Olympic Region. This includes the Agate Pass Bridge on SR 305, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on SR 16 and the Nisqually River Bridges on Interstate 5.

WSDOT instituted and funded a bridge cleaning program to clean state-owned bridges prior to performing a bridge inspection. Bridge cleaning and inspection of state fracture-critical bridges began in January 2014. All of these bridges are regularly inspected and washed, and placed on an annual cleaning cycle.

How can I get more information?

Doug Adamson
WSDOT Olympic Region
(360) 357-2716