Five weeks of construction to replace expansion joints and floor beam begins week of June 26
LONGVIEW – The State Route 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge connecting Longview, Washington and Rainier, Oregon will close to vehicle traffic for up to eight days beginning 8 p.m. Sunday, July 16 as Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews from Combined Construction, Inc. replace two bridge expansion joints and a fractured floor beam. Pedestrians, bicyclists and emergency responders will be able to cross the bridge during the closure except during a small window when the floor beam is being replaced.
The bridge must be closed to ensure a long-lasting repair and for the safety of travelers and construction crew in the work zone. To set the new expansion joints in place, crews will pour concrete which needs four days to cure and strengthen, without movement and disturbance from moving traffic. The replacement of the floor beam also requires there be no traffic on the bridge.
“There is no good time to close a bridge and the vital importance of the Lewis and Clark Bridge to Washington and Oregon communities cannot be overstated,” said WSDOT Southwest Region Administrator Carley Francis. “Our goal is to do this repair work right and re-open the bridge to travelers as soon as safely possible.”
Construction work occurring before and after the closure will be done at night using single lane closures and alternating traffic across the bridge. The five-week construction schedule of nighttime lane closures and a bridge closure of up to eight days shortens the construction timeline for this $1 million preservation project. It also avoids months of daytime single lane closures that would create congestion throughout southwest Washington and northwest Oregon.
On April 12, bridge inspectors discovered a fractured floor beam resulting in an emergency 12-hour closure. Prior to that discovery, the bridge was scheduled to close for up to six days for expansion joint replacement work. The closure has been extended to accommodate the additional work of installing a new floor beam.
Project construction is estimated to begin the week of June 26 and travelers should expect traffic delays or detours for approximately five weeks.
The closure of Lewis and Clark Bridge for up to eight days begins at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 16.
- Emergency vehicles – including only ambulances with active critical medical needs or law enforcement emergency response – can use the bridge during the closure except when crews install the new floor beam. The timing of this work will be communicated in advance.
- Due to safety, no park and ride facilities are available.
- Before and after the closure, crews will reduce travel across the bridge to one lane each night beginning at 8 p.m. and alternate traffic through the work zone.
- There will be no single lane closures during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Friday, June 30 – Tuesday, July 4.
- For the safety of travelers and the construction crew, the work zone will have reduced speed limits.
Plan for longer travel times
During the following times travelers should expect longer delays and congestion due to nighttime single lane closures:
- 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sundays through Fridays
- 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Fridays to Saturdays
- 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. Saturdays to Sundays.
Plan ahead for lengthy detours
During the closure, all traffic crossing the Columbia River will detour to either the US 101 Astoria-Megler Bridge between Megler, Washington and Astoria, Oregon, or the Interstate 5 Bridge between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon.
The Wahkiakum County ferry between Cathlamet, Washington and Westport, Oregon will run twice an hour 24 hours a day while the bridge is closed. This ferry has extremely limited capacity. Its use should be reserved for urgent matters that do not require an ambulance. Travelers should also be prepared for lengthy wait times and long lines.
Depending on where people begin and end their travel, using the detour routes can add upwards of two and a half hours of travel time. People who use the SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge to access scheduled medical services should plan their travel time with this in mind and contact their providers to confirm or reschedule their appointments.
There will be much more to communicate about this project. The best way the traveling public can stay up-to-date on news and closure dates is to subscribe to email alerts for this project.