The Tumwater Street bridge in Port Angeles, shown Tuesday, is slated for work that would replace the bridge’s expansion joints and improve the road surface. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The Tumwater Street bridge in Port Angeles, shown Tuesday, is slated for work that would replace the bridge’s expansion joints and improve the road surface. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Repairs scheduled for Tumwater Street bridge

PORT ANGELES — Tumwater Street bridge will be closed for repairs beginning Monday.

The $185,996 maintenance project is expected to be completed on or about May 8, city officials said.

Tumwater Street will be closed from Marine Drive to West Fifth Street until the work is finished. Detour signs will be in place.

The project includes the replacement of the expansion joints and new layer of asphalt.

“Our goal is to complete the project with as little inconvenience as possible while keeping safety of the public, pedestrians and motorists a top priority,” project manager Jonathan Boehme said in a Monday announcement.

“Please use alternate routes and watch for trucks entering and leaving Marine Drive. Please remember, when you see our work crews, slow down for safety.”

Tumwater Street bridge was built in about 1980 and has never been resurfaced, Boehme said Tuesday.

Water is percolating through the expansion joints, which could lead to the eventual failure of the bridge girders, Boehme said in a telephone interview.

Vehicles are putting added stress on the expansion joints because the road surface is uneven, he said.

“This repair project will make those expansion joints nice and smooth for those traveling over them,” Boehme said, “and prevent water from seeping though those expansion joints.”

The City Council awarded a $185,996 contract to Combined Construction Inc. of Mukilteo at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Combined Construction’s bid was the lowest of three that the city received. The engineer’s estimate was $204,350.

“If you’ve ever driven on Tumwater bridge or ridden a bike down Tumwater bridge, you hold on tight,” Port Angeles Public Works Director Craig Fulton told the council.

“It’s one of those projects we must get done. Just as with roads and asphalt, what you want to avoid is water penetration.

“Once water penetrates into the bridge it gets to the metal, the rebar, and it deteriorates rapidly,” Fulton added.

“And so we need to get this done to replace the expansion joints that are failing, seal the decking and then re-asphalt it.”

The city issued a request for proposals for the Tumwater Street bridge project last summer and received one bid for $311,309.

Because the lone bid was well above the engineer’s estimate, the city issued a second request for proposals later in the year when more contractors were available, Fulton said.

Other companies that responded to the second call for bids were Cascade Bridge LLC of Vancouver, Wash., ($245,251) and Olympic Peninsula Construction Inc. of Port Ludlow ($259,764), according to city documents.

The city’s street fund budget includes $223,900 for the Tumwater Street bridge project.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.

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