Pat McElroy, an engineer for Clallam County, said construction crews plan to place about 8 inches of gravel and 6 inches of hot asphalt to repave the Ward Bridge over the Dungeness River. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Pat McElroy, an engineer for Clallam County, said construction crews plan to place about 8 inches of gravel and 6 inches of hot asphalt to repave the Ward Bridge over the Dungeness River. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Ward Bridge renovation nears completion

Construction repairs piers, prevents sinking

SEQUIM — Ward Bridge along Woodcock Road and over the Dungeness River tentatively will reopen in early October.

Clallam County officials closed the bridge in late June to repair the bridge’s piers and resurface its roadway.

Clallam County engineer Pat McElroy said contractor Bruch & Bruch Construction Inc. of Port Angeles anticipates paving the roadway this week and finishing construction the first week of October, barring bad weather.

The approximate $1.2 million project is on budget, McElroy said.

He said the bridge’s piers were built in the late 1930s and its superstructure was rebuilt in the late 1970s.

“It was starting to drop due to the river cutting into the piers,” McElroy said.

To prevent future damage, crews spent about a month digging 11 feet next to each pier and placing riprap.

McElroy said crews detoured the Dungeness River for each pier and used three 8-inch hoses to keep the holes dry.

Each pier was repaired with epoxy, too.

“They are better than when they were new,” he said.

The pedestrian walkways will remain largely the same. Some repairs were made to one section that was damaged by a tree.

Accessing the walkways along the sides of the bridge should be easier without a concrete barrier blocking them. McElroy said.

Crews also expanded parking on the west side of the bridge for about six vehicles and added permanent construction access below the bridge.

To finish the project, McElroy said crews will add about 8 inches of gravel and 6 inches of hot asphalt to the roadway, revegetate the hill sides by the bridge and place a new guard rail.

For more information on the project, visit www.clallam.net/roads/WardBridgeScour Repair.html.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

The pedestrian/bicycle pathways along Ward Bridge will be easier to access once work is complete, said Pat McElroy, an engineer for Clallam County. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

The pedestrian/bicycle pathways along Ward Bridge will be easier to access once work is complete, said Pat McElroy, an engineer for Clallam County. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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