Closures planned until 8 tonight on Highway 101 Elwha River bridge

Crews moving equipment after plans change to perpare for expected storm

PORT ANGELES — Multiple closures lasting 40 to 45 minutes each are planned at the Elwha River bridge on U.S. Highway 101 west of Port Angeles from now until about 8 p.m. tonight.

Crews are demobilizing drilling equipment, hauling it up to the bridge deck, which will block the highway, said Claudia Bingham Baker, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, today.

Some closures could be expected early Tuesday morning if the crews are unable to finish their work tonight, she added.

After that no closures are expected this week, although they may resume later.

Crews have been drilling bore samples along the bridge’s two piers, resulting in intermittent hour-long closures.

The crews are exploring the degree of erosion. Sediment from the former Lake Aldwell and high water has scoured the riverbed in which the piers sit.

The riverbed has been washed out 14 feet down since the Elwha Dam downstream was removed in 2012, according to Chris Keegan, regional operations engineer for Transportation.

The bridge is safe, he said, adding that bridges are inspected on a regular basis.

But erosion around the piers in a concern, he said.

Drilling has not been completed and crews have not collected all the data they need, Bingham Baker said today, but plans have changed because of a storm the National Weather Service has forecast to come into the area on Friday.

Once the equipment is out of the way, another contractor will come in to place large boulders around the base of each of the piers to retard the rate of erosion.

“They want get the rip-rap in place before the water level rises because of the storm,” Bingham Baker said.

The rip-rap work will not require traffic closures on the bridge.

The Elwha Dam was removed along with the Glines Canyon Dam higher up the river as part of a $325 million National Park Service project to restore the Elwha River to its wild state.

More in News

Mystery Bay closed to shellfish harvesting

The state Department of Health has closed Mystery Bay… Continue reading

Three people were transported to hospitals for injuries on Monday after a collision on U.S. Highway 101 that involved two SUVs and a semi-truck. (Clallam County Fire District 3)
Three transported to hospitals after wreck east of Sequim

Three people were transported for non-life-threatening injuries after a collision… Continue reading

Victoria-based Team Malolo was poised to win the 2024 Race to Alaska on Monday. At midday, the team was 20 miles out from the finish line in Ketchikan, Alaska, while the second-place team was still about 70 miles behind. (Taylor Bayly/Northwest Maritime)
Team Malolo poised to win Race to Alaska

Trimaran had 70-mile lead over competitors

Peninsula College trustees approve budget, bargaining agreement

Full-time enrollment up 30 percent this spring over last year

Jefferson County adopts summer fire regulations

New rules automatically raise fire danger July through September

Port Townsend wins community sustainability award

PORT TOWNSEND – The city of Port Townsend won the 2024 award… Continue reading

Entities partner to provide Port Townsend visitor information

Port Townsend’s marketing workgroup and its lodging tax advisory… Continue reading

Print edition available today, e-edition only this Wednesday

Peninsula Daily News has a print edition available to… Continue reading

Port Angeles High School graduates, from left, Uri Crawford, Samantha Combs and Jordan McTear, decorate a vehicle in preparation for Friday’s graduation parade from Ediz Hook to the high school. Dozens of adorned cars and trucks carried grads through the streets of Port Angeles as a lead-up to the graduation ceremony that evening at Civic Field. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Congrats, grads!

Port Angeles High School graduates, from left, Uri Crawford, Samantha Combs and… Continue reading

Dash Air to leave Port Angeles

‘Nothing to do’ with viability of air service, owner says

Clallam County art barn to get new roof before fair

Commissioners approve $85,000 contract with company from Kent

Sequim schools drop proposal to bump back start time

Survey respondents prefer to keep Greywolf Elementary at 8:30 a.m.