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Bremerton's Warren Avenue Bridge waterline work slated
Folks who regularly travel north over the Warren Avenue Bridge can expect to see work crews, some lane closures and pedestrian revisions in coming months.
Work to replace 1,700 feet of a 20-inch steel water main suspended under the bridge, which was first installed in 1958 and is responsible for the majority of 2.5 million gallons that flows into East Bremerton every day, is set to start this month.
Bill Davis, an engineer with the city of Bremerton, said the water main is approaching the end of its useful life and has substantial corrosion with leaking joints and couplings. It also needs seismic upgrades. Seismic ball joints will be installed at four locations to allow the suspended water main to flex and move during a large seismic event. All the pipe supports will be either replaced or rehabilitated. A follow-on project later in 2014 will install seismic shut-off valves on the south end of the bridge
“This will be a brand-new water main that will last during severe earthquakes and provide water to East Bremerton for the next 60 to 70 years,” Davis said.
The $1.7 million project, paid by the city’s ratepayers, won’t be completed until April. Crews will begin setting up scaffolding that will hang off the bridge on its southern side, closing down one of its two pedestrian access ways during construction, Davis said.
Crews will set up shop underneath the bridge near Lebo Boulevard and begin feeding the 1,700 feet of new pipe from there.
One lane will be closed northbound on Warren Avenue from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. during construction, which will ramp up in early January. The city will allow the contractor to close a northbound lane of the bridge during the day — from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — only 20 days throughout construction, Davis said.
Warren Avenue is part State Route 303 and the bridge is maintained by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
“WSDOT was pretty concerned about lane closures and that we not allow the contractor to do unlimited lane closures, so they put constraints on us to pass on the contractors so there aren’t unlimited closures,” Davis noted.
IMCO General Construction of Ferndale was awarded the contract for the Warren Avenue Bridge Water Main Replacement in the amount of $1,455,240. Beginning this month, the contractor will be using a scaffold system consisting of ten individual scaffolds to install the new main under the bridge. The main replacement is anticipated to begin in late January or early February.