Busy highway construction season planned in Central Washington this spring and summer

YAKIMA – There will be many road cones lining the highways in Central Washington as the Washington State Department of Transportation kicks off the 2023 construction season.

Contractor crews working for WSDOT will repair bridge decks, fix sections of pavement, build roundabouts and paint bridges. WSDOT crews also will complete a number of maintenance and preservation projects to help maintain the condition of the state infrastructure.

With work taking place in several locations throughout the region, it will be important for travelers to stay updated on latest developments and closures and to plan ahead for delays or added congestion. Much of this work can only take place during the warm, dry summer months so there is a small window for all the projects and it’s not always possible to stagger the work regionwide.

Spring 2023 construction season information

Some of the first projects kick off this spring (or may have already started) and will run throughout the summer or into the fall. The list below details locations, timelines and what types of closures or delays travelers can expect.

  • Interstate 82 Selah Creek Bridge – paving project
    May 2022 – Fall 2023
    Daytime and nighttime single-lane closures will take place to repair bridge joints and install pavement markings. Paving on this area was completed fall 2022.
  • State Route 240/SR 225 Intersection – construct roundabout
    April 2023 – July 2023
    Single-lane closures with an automated flagger assistance device will alternate traffic while the new roundabout is built. The speed limit is reduced in the work zone to 40 mph. Full weekend closures may be needed, but advanced notice will be given if that happens.
  • US 395 Old Maid Coulee Bridge Southbound – bridge deck rehab
    May 2023 – July 2023
    Alternating single-lane closures on southbound US 395 south of Mesa while the bridge deck is repaired.

Summer 2023 construction season information

Several other projects will kick off later in the summer and also will require travelers to stay up to date and plan ahead by altering routes, if possible, or adding extra travel time to their trips. Some work will wrap up this year, but other projects will extend into subsequent years as well.

  • US 97 – Dry Creek – paving
    June 2023 – Fall 2023
    This project repaves US 97 south of Toppenish near Status Pass. There will be flagger-controlled alternating traffic weekdays in both directions of this 11-mile section.
  • I-82 Yakima River Bridges and Chandler Canal – bridge deck rehab
    June 2023 – Fall 2023
    This project resurfaces the decks of three bridges on I-82. Both directions of I-82 will be reduced to a single-lane during construction.
  • US 12/Gordon Road – bridge deck repair
    July 2023 – Fall 2024
    Westbound bridge deck repair will take place on US 12 between the North First Street and North 16th Avenue exits in Yakima. During construction, two lanes of traffic will be open in each direction on US 12 by shifting one lane of traffic onto the adjacent eastbound bridge. Crews will also be repairing the westbound off-ramp to North First Street. Access entering and exiting North First Street in Yakima will be limited at times, but alternate routes will be available.
  • US 97/Jones Road – construct roundabout
    July 2023 – Fall 2023
    US 97 will remain open while a new roundabout is constructed. Access to Jones Road will be closed at times and travelers can detour local roads.
  • SR 241/Mabton – retrofit bridges
    July 2023 – Fall 2025
    This project will remove the weight restrictions and restore the structural integrity of the Mabton bridges. The contractor will first widen three intersections along the detour route; Grandview Pavement Road and Hornby Road, Chase Road and Hornby Road, and South Euclid Road and Chase Road. Once the intersections are widened, the contractor will close the bridges in Mabton, and drivers will then need to use the detour and use the Euclid Road Bridge to cross the Yakima River. The detour will add an additional 15 minutes of travel time. The closure will start after the Wheeler Gas Station.
  • US 395 Pioneer Memorial Bridge “Blue Bridge” – bridge painting stage 2
    July 2023 – Summer 2025
    The work may require single lane closures in each direction. One lane of traffic in each direction will remain open. The dates for the single closures are still being finalized. WSDOT will work with the contractor to share dates once those are available. 
  • US 12 Naches Vic to Old Naches Highway Vic – paving
    July 2023 – Fall 2023
    This project repaves six miles of US 12 between Naches and Yakima.  Daytime single-lane closures in both directions will take place.
  • I-82 Columbia River Bridge at Umatilla Eastbound – painting
    Fall 2023 – Fall 2025
    Eastbound traffic will be diverted to the westbound bridge of I-82. There will be one lane open in each direction on the westbound bridge. The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph.

Ways to get travel information

With multiple projects, ‘knowing before you go” will be important to keep people and goods moving. Travelers can use these tools to help stay up to date:

Slow down – lives are on the line. 

In 2023, speeding continued to be a top reason for work zone crashes.

Even one life lost is too many.

Fatal work zone crashes doubled in 2023 - Washington had 10 fatal work zone crashes on state roads.

It's in EVERYONE’S best interest.

95% of people hurt in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians, not just our road crews.