West Cashmere Bridge construction will bring new traffic impacts

Submitted by Jill FitzSimmons, Chelan County public information officer

CASHMERE – A contractor for Chelan County on Sept. 7 will begin placing the girders – the large, steel beams that support a bridge – for the new West Cashmere Bridge.

The work will include some impacts – nighttime construction and traffic impacts on Highway 2 – to neighboring residents and businesses as well as motorists traveling through the work zone.

The beams will begin to be placed the first week of September. Girders will be placed from the Goodwin Road side of the project to over the Wenatchee River to across Highway 2, in that order.

On the Goodwin Road side of the project, girders placed over the BNSF railroad tracks will require a nighttime construction work window. A work window was established by BNSF railroad so the girders can be placed when it least disturbs train traffic. Chelan County code also allows for nighttime construction work that is related to public projects.

Night work also will be necessary when girders are set over Highway 2; the work will be done 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. During these hours, the highway will be closed at the project site and motorists will be directed onto a one-lane bypass road off the shoulder of the highway. Those anticipated dates are: Sept. 16 and Sept. 20-22.

On those dates, motorists should plan for one-lane, flagger-controlled traffic with a reduced speed limit. Plan for up to 20-minute delays, depending on traffic levels. Troopers with the Washington State Patrol will serve as flaggers.

Businesses on Sunburst Highway and residents on Hay Canyon Road also should be aware that the stoplight at Hay Canyon Road will be turned off from 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 16 and then again Sept. 20-22. Motorists accessing Highway 2 from Hay Canyon Road will be directed by the flagger as well.

The county’s contractor expects to be setting girders about 10 days in September at a pace of about two girders a night. The steel beams, which are arriving from a manufacturer in Vancouver, Wash., are a variety of lengths and weights, ranging from 65,000 pounds to 100,000 pounds. They will be set into place by a large crane.

For traffic updates, or to follow along with construction, visit the project’s website

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