Workers prepare for Port Angeles bridge girders; detours start Monday on Race Street

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A stretch of Race Street is expected to be closed for 12 days starting Monday while the site of the Lauridsen Boulevard bridge replacement project is prepared to receive the concrete girders that will form the new structure.

The detours leading traffic around Race Street at its intersection with Lauridsen Boulevard will be in place until installation of the six 140-foot girders is completed, likely Dec. 6, according to the city.

Northbound Race Street traffic will be detoured east onto Park Avenue, north on Washington Street to Ninth Street, then west back to Race.

Traffic headed south on Race will be detoured east onto Ninth Street, south onto Washington Street, west on Park Avenue, then south onto Mount Angeles Road/Race Street.

Jim Mahlum, city public works project manager, said the detours are needed so construction crews with Kent-based Scarsella Bros. Inc. can build a steel pad that will hold the crane used to install the new bridge’s concrete girders.

Work building the pad and installing the girders will go on every day except Thanksgiving until Dec. 6, Mahlum said.

Drive in support piles

Crews will be required to drive six support piles for the pad into the ground between the new bridge’s east abutment and the already placed concrete barriers, Mahlum explained.

This process likely will produce some noise, though work will be done only in the daylight hours, Mahlum added.

“It may take four or five complete days to do all [the support piles],” he said.

Scarsella crews are completing the bridge replacement project under a $4.5 million contract with the city and are expected to finish in January or February.

A federal grant is funding 80 percent of the project, with the city paying the remaining 20 percent.

The crane set to sit on the pad and lift the girders into place will be built on site and need to undergo safety inspections before crews can use it, Mahlum said.

“They have to kind of put it together like an Erector set,” he said.

The girders will be driven on a flatbed truck from Tacoma starting Dec. 4, traveling along U.S. Highway 101 and then turning south on Race Street, Mahlum said.

Port Angeles police will direct traffic at the Race Street intersections with Front and First streets as the girder delivery truck passes, Mahlum explained.

The stop lights where Race intersects with Fifth and Eighth streets will be in “flash” mode so the truck does not have to stop going uphill toward the site of the new bridge, Mahlum said.

“It’s actually going to be two days placing those girders,” he said.

Replaces old bridge

The new structure is replacing the 44-year-old bridge that was demolished in August.

The sidewalks of the new bridge, which will resemble the two Eighth Street bridges, also will be wider than those of the old.

A new street light at the intersection of Lauridsen Boulevard and Race Street, as well as improvements to the surface of the intersection, is also part of the bridge-replacement project.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 23. 2013 5:17PM
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