Northbound Highway 395 to close for 8 days

By Pratik Joshi, Herald staff writer September 26, 2009 

KENNEWICK -- Brace yourself for the last major traffic closure on northbound Highway 395 near the blue bridge.

The eight-day closure starts late Sunday and continues through the early hours of Oct. 5.

It means drivers won't be able to go to Pasco via Highway 395.

Access to the blue bridge from Columbia Drive and eastbound Highway 240 will also be closed, said Moe Davari, project engineer for the Washington Department of Transportation.

Also, Columbia Drive to Yelm Street on southbound Highway 395 will be reduced to one lane and Columbia Drive from North Kent Place to the roundabout will be reduced to one lane in each direction for the duration of the current construction phase.

The closure will allow crews to reconstruct the northbound lanes on Highway 395, he said. The new road surface will have cement concrete paving, which is expected to last for 35 to 40 years.

Davari said detours will be in place to guide motorists. They can use Interstate 182 or the cable bridge to get to Pasco, Davari said. Signs and message boards have been placed to make them clearly visible to drivers so that they know about the established detours before they hit the project area, he said.

Davari said such road closures help crews to work round the clock. It also provides a safe working environment with no vehicles zipping through, he said, adding that no work-related accidents have been reported on the $16 million interchange rebuilding project.

A series of road closures has helped expedite the project, which was initially a two-year project, Davari said. He said he's been receiving positive comments from Tri-Citians about the recent lane expansion on southbound Highway 395, which he said is helping traffic flow more smoothly.

Once the northbound lanes on Highway 395 are reconstructed, only minor tasks will remain, such as putting up signs, marking pavement, installing guard rails, lighting and landscaping, he said.

The project should be completed in early November.

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