Overpass severely damaged by overheight load, requires major repairs
NAPAVINE – Travelers using the Koontz Road overpass across Interstate 5 near Napavine, should expect delays for the foreseeable future following a bridge strike that caused serious damage to the south-facing, northbound span of the bridge.
On Sunday, Nov. 14, an unpermitted oversized load caused significant damage when it hit the northbound span of the Koontz Road bridge. Following the collision, Washington State Department of Transportation bridge inspectors closed the southside lane of the overpass for public safety. That closure will remain in effect until funding is found and the damaged girder can be replaced.
“Bridge repairs are extremely complicated because each structure is unique, and it requires careful coordination and planning, especially when the bridge spans across the interstate,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Colin Newell. “We understand that having a single lane of the overpass closed is an inconvenience the neighboring communities who use this bridge, and we appreciate the public’s patience while we work on a permanent fix.”
Fully reopening Koontz Road
Once funding is identified, WSDOT will solicit contractors for the project to replace the damaged bridge girder. The bridge will then be fully open to local and freight traffic.
Final repair costs are still being determined, but the amount is expected to be between $700k and $1 million.
WSDOT and law enforcement have identified the vehicle that struck the bridge and will seek reimbursement for damages and repair costs if appropriate.
What to expect during the single lane closure
Local and freight traffic will follow an automated signal, alternating travelers through a single lane across the bridge.