AGNEW — The Clallam County Road Department will host an open house Wednesday to discuss the planned eight-month closure of Old Olympic Highway at the McDonald Creek bridge.
The road is scheduled to be closed beginning in late May to allow crews to replace the 24-foot-wide 1957 bridge with a 40-foot-wide modern span.
The open house will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Agnew Helpful Neighbors Club, 1241 N. Barr Road.
County staff will present the design for the new bridge, discuss the project schedule and show maps with alternate routes, said Patrick McElroy, a road department engineer.
U.S. Highway 101 will be used as a detour during construction.
The open house was scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to allow business owners who will be affected by the closure to attend the gathering after their shifts, McElroy said.
The schedule for the estimated $5.5 million project is driven by an in-water work window in the early summer.
“We hope to start around the end of May,” McElroy said.
“That’s our goal. It will go for about eight months.”
The new bridge will be several feet higher than the existing bridge and will match the width of Old Olympic Highway to the east of the span, McElroy said. The road will have 8-foot-wide shoulders on both sides.
The existing bridge replaced a wooden trestle that was built over McDonald Creek in 1912, McElroy said.
Inspections revealed that the 60-year-old bridge would be vulnerable in an earthquake.
County officials decided to replace the bridge because of the high cost of a seismic retrofit, McElroy said.
Installation of a $1.7 million temporary bridge during construction was also deemed to be cost-prohibitive, county officials have said.
Clallam County will use real estate excise tax revenue to cover its estimated $4.4 million share of the construction cost, according to a local agency agreement with the state Department of Transportation.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.