On Sunday, July 16, 2023, bridge crews fully closed the SR 433 - Lewis and Clark Bridge, also known as the Rainier Bridge, spanning across the Columbia River between Longview, WA, and Rainier, OR, for four days. The closure aimed to replace the steel expansion joints that allowed the structure to expand and contract with daily temperature variations. The deteriorating expansion joints were identified and had to be replaced to meet bridge safety requirements and extend the life of the bridge.
On April 12, 2023, bridge inspectors discovered a fractured floor beam, resulting in an emergency 12-hour closure. The extended full closure for expansion joint replacement also included replacing the fractured floor beams.
What to expect
In June 2023, travelers encountered nighttime alternating single lane closures as crews prepared for the eight-day full bridge closure. The purpose was to replace the expansion joints and a fractured floor beam. During the full closure, pedestrians, bicyclists, and emergency responders still had access across the bridge except for a brief period while the floor beam replacement took place.
On Sunday, July 16, 2023, contractor crews fully closed the bridge to vehicle traffic. Remarkably, they managed to reopen it on Thursday, July 21, 2023 - four days ahead of the scheduled eight-day closure.
The SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge, also known as the Rainer Bridge, connecting Washington and Oregon over The Columbia River, closed on Sunday, July 16, 2023, for bridge joint and floor beam replacement work. Originally scheduled for eight days, the critical repairs were completed in just four days, and the bridge reopened on Thursday, July 20, 2023.