BELLINGHAM, Wash. — During a routine safety inspection, Whatcom County crews found increased amounts of rot in the wood of the bridge superstructure over the water. According to the Whatcom County website, “Without some immediate solution the bridge would have to be closed to heavy traffic including school buses and fire district vehicles.”
Bridge traffic was reduced to a single lane in March of 2016 with drivers taking turns proceeding in opposite directions.
Today, Tuesday, February 8th, it was announced construction bids will be received for the bridge replacement project contract until 2:30pm, Tuesday, February 28th.
This project provides for the improvement of North Lake Samish Bridge No. 107 including a work access trestle, remove existing bridge, 4-foot and 6-5 foot diameter drilled shafts, 267-foot three-span superstructure, structural earth walls, specialty bridge railing system, bridge illumination system, aggregate fill, HMA paving, buried utilities (storm, sewer, dry utility conduits) and other work.
Construction of the bridge replacement is expected to begin late May of this year. Construction was originally planned to begin last year but was rescheduled “due to additional time needed to complete all right-of-way negotiations and to obtain all environmental permits. In addition, concrete girder fabrication time is now taking 6 to 9 months, which is much longer than in past years.”
When construction begins, the bridge will be closed to all traffic and a signed detour put in place for approximately 13 months while the new bridge is under construction. It is expected the new bridge will open to traffic in June of 2024.
Construction will include the construction of a temporary bridge across the lake to the east of the existing bridge. This will be used by the contractor while demolishing the existing bridge and constructing the new bridge.