The state Route 107 Chehalis River Bridge south of Montesano is scheduled to reopen 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, after a three-day closure to address pier settlement of nearly 6 inches discovered during the bridge’s $23.7 million rehabilitation project.
“We are currently on track to reopen the structure at 8 a.m. on Friday,” said State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Christina Werner. “Repairs are being done by contractor crews under the guidance and direction of our bridge preservation engineers.”
The plan was to keep the bridge open during the construction to replace the 200 or so timber pilings that have supported the south approach for decades, but the amount of settlement discovered last week prompted the closure so crews from Rognlin’s Inc., the project’s contractor, could shore up the unstable bridge support structure.
Werner said there have been reports of drivers “getting out of their vehicles and moving the barrier that is in place at the construction site to go around the closure and cross the bridge. This is extremely unsafe and something we will work with Washington State Patrol on to prevent passage while settlement repairs are underway. This is for the safety of the traveling public and our crews.”
The approved detour during the closure is U.S. Highway 101 and U.S. Highway 12, not Blue Slough Road. The route is clearly signed on state Route 107, and on Highways 101 and 12.
When the bridge reopens, drivers will find the same configuration as before the closure — a single lane of traffic controlled by a temporary traffic signal. In spring of 2020, one-way alternating traffic will be shifted to the east side of the bridge as the process is repeated and the western lane will be demolished and constructed.