• Project

SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge Finger Joint Replacement Project

**UPDATE** May 2, 2023 - SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge to close Sunday, July 16 for up to eight days for critical preservation work.

Project overview

In 2023, the Lewis and Clark Bridge, also known as the Rainier Bridge, will fully close for up to eight days as crews replace two bridge expansion joints and a fractured floor beam.

Steel expansion joints allow the structure to expand and contract with daily temperature variations. These two expansion joints have deteriorated and need to be replaced. This repair project will help preserve the bridge and extend its service life.

During the closure, all vehicle traffic crossing The Columbia River will detour to use either the Astoria-Megler Bridge between Megler, WA and Astoria, OR, or the Interstate 5 Bridge between Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR. Pedestrians, bicyclists, those using wheelchairs/mobility scooters and emergency vehicles will be provided access across the bridge during the full closure.

While construction is not scheduled to begin until June 2023, we are proactively planning for impacts to business, commuters, and freight haulers. The Lewis and Clark bridge is currently in working condition and safe for all travelers.

Summer 2022-Spring/Summer 2023
Project status
$1 Million
Project hotline

What to expect

Construction will start the week of June 26, 2023 with nightly single lane closures beginning each evening at 8 p.m. 

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.

While the heaviest impacts to travelers will occur during the full closure of the bridge, travelers should prepare for up to five weeks of traffic impacts.

During construction, expect longer delays and congestion whether you commute over the bridge or travel in the project area. The work zone will have reduced speed limits for the safety of travelers and the construction crew. 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.

Full closure for up to eight days

To replace these expansion joints and a fractured floor beam, the bridge must be fully closed to vehicle traffic for up to eight days to allow the concrete adjacent to the new expansion joints to fully cure. 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.

Nighttime single lane closures

Before and after the full bridge closure, there will be nightly single lane closures for additional joint work, project staging, and clean-up. This will leave only one lane open for both northbound and southbound traffic to share each evening.

Northbound and southbound traffic will take turns alternating through the single lane, waiting until the oncoming vehicle passes, before proceeding. Occasional daytime single lane closures may be needed but will be limited to reduce congestion throughout the region.

Medical access

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.

Ferry service

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. Find more information about the Wahkiakum County Ferry here.

In 2023, The Lewis and Clark Bridge, which spans across The Columbia River between Washington and Oregon, will close for up to right days for bridge joint and floor beam replacement work.