A project that will replace the US 97, Biggs Bridge concrete deck will begin this December. A complete closure of the bridge will begin January 2, 2008.
The contract was awarded to Mowat Construction Company of Woodinville, who submitted the winning bid of $12,228,837.
A pre-construction open house has been scheduled for Dec. 4.
In December, motorists can expect nighttime, single lane closures between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. During that time, delays will not exceed 20 minutes.
In January, a full closure of the bridge will begin. The bridge will remain closed until the north and main spans of the deck can be replaced; the bridge will be reopened by Memorial Day 2008. Then, after Labor Day, the bridge will close again for the replacement of the bridge deck on the south end of the bridge.
The WSDOT project team will hold a pre-construction open house on Tuesday, Dec. 4, to inform the community about the construction work and associated traffic impacts, including the nighttime lane closures and the full closure.
The open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Rufus Community Center.
Crews will avoid closing the US 97, Biggs Bridge during the summer months. Community input was critical in the decision to not close the bridge during the summer tourist season.
Over the past several years, the bridge's deck has begun to crack and deteriorate, and it continues to worsen despite several maintenance projects. WSDOT has decided to accelerate construction of this project to Fall 2007.
During construction, detour routes will be available. Detour routes include US 197 Dalles Bridge via I-84 or State Route 14. Another option for eastbound traffic is to cross at the I-82 Columbia River Bridge.
For more information about the Biggs Rapids -- Sam Hill Memorial Bridge deck replacement project, contact WSDOT's Columbia Gorge Area Engineering Office by phone (866-279-0730), by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the project page at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US97/BiggsBridge.
Advance warning signs will be placed ahead of the construction area, and motorists are asked to observe and adhere to the posted speed limits when driving through the work zone.