HOQUIAM, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) hired commercial divers to inspect pier pilings on the US 101 Simpson Avenue Bridge. WSDOT crews had noticed unusual, although slight, movements on the bridge.
“These types of bridges naturally expand and contract with changing weather temperatures,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT region administrator. “What we’re seeing on the Simpson Avenue Bridge is beyond what we’d normally expect for thermal expansion so we’re taking precautionary steps to confirm what is causing these movements.”
The last underwater inspections, done on a five-year cycle, were done in January 2008. Built in 1927, the Simpson Avenue Bridge is a 1,978-foot-long bridge that spans the Hoquiam River and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the parts that operate the bridge were original, and in 2008, WSDOT completed a $9.2 million project that replaced the draw span’s mechanical, electrical systems and added some structural components.
More information about WSDOT’s bridges can be found at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/bridge/reporting.For travel impacts and lane-closure information visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/Olympic/Construction.