Port Angeles’ Valley Creek bridge set to close for good Monday morning

PORT ANGELES – The Valley Creek bridge will be closed on Monday morning for the Eighth Street bridges replacement project, said Jim Mahlum, the city’s project manager.

“Since there’s not a lot of traffic now on Eighth Street west of Lincoln Street, they can close it whenever they want,” he said.

“But the contractor was saying it would be shortly after 8 a.m.”

The Tumwater Truck Route, which was closed for the past week to allow demolition of the portion of the Tumwater Creek bridge above the roadway, was scheduled to re-open today, Mahlum said.

Parsons RCI Inc. of Sumner is replacing the two timber trestle bridges along West Eighth Street with concrete ones.

The $18.4 million construction contract was awarded at the April 4 City Council meeting.

Each bridge will be 47 feet wide with two 12-foot travel lanes, two five-foot bicycle lanes and two 6.5-foot sidewalks.

Both will have two pedestrian viewpoints.

Preliminary work beneath the two bridges began in June.

The Tumwater Creek bridge was closed on Aug. 20.

The portion of the bridge over the Tumwater Truck Route has been cleared, but the demolition of the rest of the bridge is expected to take about another month, according to the updated construction schedule.

Demolition of the Valley Creek bridge is expected to last at least one month.

Monday’s closure is expected to go more smoothly than that of the Tumwater Creek bridge.

The Tumwater Creek bridge closure was delayed for two and a half hours by traffic signal problems on the detour routes.

“I hope we don’t have traffic light malfunctions,” Mahlum said.

“I don’t anticipate as much congestion Monday because everyone already has stopped using Eighth Street west of Lincoln,” he said.

“People along that street probably are enjoying the quiet.”

The new concrete spans are scheduled to open in November 2008.

Mahlum said the city’s noise ordinance permits the contractor to work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. any day of the week.

But most of the work has been from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., during daylight hours, he said.

The city has told the contractor not to perform loud work, such as jackhammering, before 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Mahlum said.

Views of the bridge demolition and construction are available on the city’s Web site at www.cityofpa.us, along with detour routes, traffic revisions, Clallam Transit bus schedules and the anticipated construction schedule.

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