PORT ANGELES – City, state and contractor representatives gathered Tuesday afternoon at the west end of the closed Tumwater Creek bridge to officially mark the beginning of the span’s demolition.
“It’s not often a city does a project like this,” said Mayor Karen Rogers, prior to helping tip over a section of fencing from the bridge onto the now-closed bridge approach.
“The public is anxiously awaiting the new bridges.”
The timber trestle bridge and its twin on Eighth Street, the Valley Creek bridge, are being demolished and rebuilt by Parsons RCI Inc. of Sumner into concrete spans in a $18.4 million project.
The Tumwater Creek bridge closed on Aug. 20 and an excavator began tearing up the asphalt road surface that afternoon.
All that remained by the time of Tuesday’s ceremony was one small pile of debris atop the roadway’s concrete base.
The concrete bollards and fencing next to the roadway also have been removed.
After the remaining fencing, light standards and other materials are removed, the bridge deck will be cut into 29-foot sections and lifted off by a 250-ton crane.
Demolition is scheduled to take about a month and a half.
The Valley Creek Bridge is scheduled to close on Sept. 17 and take about one month to demolish.
The new bridges are expected to re-open on Nov. 1, 2008.
They will each be 47 feet wide with two 12-foot travel lanes, two five-foot bicycle lanes and two 6.5-foot sidewalks and featuring two pedestrian viewpoints.