SR 20 - Deception Pass and Canoe Pass Bridges - Painting & Special Repair

Project News

  • Weekly overnight lane closures will occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 8 p.m and last until the following day until 6 a.m. 
    Drivers will be directed through a single alternating lane of traffic during these scheduled closures.
  • WSDOT signed a completion agreement in January 2021 with Cekra, Inc. of Wilmington, North Carolina to resume blasting and painting work on these bridges later this year.
  • Travelers to Deception Pass State Park should plan for limited parking along SR 20.
  • Deception Pass State Park and all businesses in the area remain open during construction. 

​The Deception Pass Bridge and Canoe Pass Bridge connect Whidbey Island to the rest of Washington state via State Route 20. These bridges provide the only land access on and off the island. Beginning in 2019 crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation began the project to repair, restore and repaint these two bridges.

The iconic bridges make up part of Deception Pass State Park, the most visited state park in Washington. The bridges opened to drivers and pedestrians in 1935. They were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Why is WSDOT repainting these bridges?
​Crews last gave these bridges a fresh coat of paint more than 20 years ago. The years of wind, sun and saltwater exposure have worn down paint and corroded some areas of the bridge. This project will repair those corroded areas and preserve the integrity of these historic structures for the 18,000 people who drive over them each day and the thousands who visit the area each year.

How will this work affect people driving or using the sidewalks?
​People who travel over the bridge will barely notice this project is happening. Most of the work will take place under the structure where crews will work in small areas at a time.

  • One sidewalk will remain open during construction so visitors can travel over the bridge without a vehicle.
  • One lane of SR 20 could close during night work.
  • All lanes will remain open during the day.
  • People walking along SR 20 or visiting Deception Pass State Park will hear loud noise during the day, and some at night, as crews work to remove old paint from the bridges.

To protect the environment during this work, crews will put a containment system in place as they repair damaged sections, remove paint and then repaint the structure. These containment systems will look like tarps hanging from the bridge but will barely be visible from the highway. This system is to keep paint, dust and other debris from the work out of the water.

How will this work affect Deception Pass State Park visitors?
​During construction seasons, crews will use many of the upper parking areas along SR 20 for construction equipment. This will limit the available parking along SR 20 for visitors.  All park access in other areas, including Bowman Bay and Cranberry Lake, will remain open. Please visit the Deception Pass State Park website for park information and to plan your visit. Other businesses who operate in this area will also remain open during construction.

The End Result
​When this project is complete, these bridges will have corroded steel pieces replaced and a new coat of Evergreen Green paint to help prolong the life of these historic structures.​

Project Benefits

  • Preservation: This work helps protect the bridges from corrosion while preserving their structural integrity.
  • Economic: Maintaining the bridges is more cost-efficient than replacing them. Maintained properly, the bridges will continue to keep up with the high demand of traffic for years to come.
  • Environmental: Removing lead-based paint and replacing it with lead-free paint is better for the surrounding environment.

What is the project timeline?

  • Fall 2018 : WSDOT will advertise the project for competitive bidding.
  • Spring 2019: First season of work.
  • Winter 2019: Shutdown sandblasting and painting portion of the project for the winter. Scaffolding work and overnight lane closures continue.
  • June 2020: Preservation work continues .
  • Winter 2020: Winter suspension
  • Spring 2021: Crews will prep the area for the construction season.
  • Summer 2021: Sandblasting and painting work will resume.
  • More dates will be added once new schedule has been submitted from Cekra, Inc.


Financial Data for PIN 102026K, 102026L, 102026M
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $10,932
CWA $13,090
Total $24,022


Meggan Carrigg Davidson

​Shane Spahr
​Project Engineer


In 2019, WSDOT crews will being a 2 year project to repaint and make repairs on the Deception and Canoe Pass bridges.
​SR 20 travels over the Canoe Pass and Deception Pass bridges between Skagit and Island Counties.

Deception Pass Bridge is one of two bridges that connects Whidbey Island to Skagit County and the rest of Washington state via SR 20.
​In 2019, WSDOT crews will start a 2 year project to repair, restore and repaint the Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges.

Picture of an example of tarp-like containment systems used during bridge painting projects.
This is an example of the tarp-like containment systems used in past bridge painting projects.