SEQUIM — Without major fanfare, the bridge at Dungeness Railroad Bridge Park, which is a link in the Olympic Discovery Trail, is open once again.
Peninsula Trails Coalition volunteers continued making upgrades to the bridge early this week. They modified the stairs and observation deck and raised the top of the rail.
But on Friday, a day earlier than originally expected, they welcomed the bridge’s first group of users, Greywolf Elementary School students visiting the adjacent Dungeness River Audubon Center.
It was the second reopening in recent months of the bridge in Railroad Bridge Park at 2151 W. Hendrickson Road in Sequim.
Construction to build a new pedestrian and bike bridge across the Dungeness River in Railroad Bridge Park began in late August 2015 and was completed on Christmas Eve.
The $2.5 million project replaced a wooden trestle damaged in winter floods with a 750-foot steel pedestrian foot bridge.
A total of 180 creosote pilings were removed as well as 166 feet of railroad grade from the floodplain.
The bridge was closed once again Feb. 15 to replace the wooden decking with concrete on the 101-year-old Dungeness Railroad Bridge and adjoining ramp at Railroad Bridge Park.
The work was done with a $100,000 donation from First Federal Community Foundation to the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, which owns the bridge and adjacent Railroad Bridge Park.
As of Monday, volunteers had dedicated more than 1,400 hours to re-decking and other maintenance to the bridge, according to Gordon Taylor, Peninsula Trails Coalition special projects manager.
“Lots of folks came and walked the bridge and trestle [on Friday], admiring the artwork and the new surface,” Taylor said.
The Olympic Peninsula News Group is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum.