Highway 395 bridge work delayed

The state Department of Transportation will hold off starting a major bridge repair on the Court Street overpass until after next week's Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo.

The bridge across Highway 395 was damaged in January when construction equipment on a semi-truck was too tall and crashed into the bridge's support girders.

Repair work on the damaged girders will cause various closures until the project is finished in November.

Cascade Bridge of Vancouver, Wash., is expected to start construction Aug. 29.

During the $650,000 project, the bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction, said Michael Adams, WSDOT project inspector.

Crews will build temporary barriers to protect traffic during the work.

The state is handling the repairs and footing the bill because the accident was on a state highway.

The damaged girder will need to be taken down in pieces, he said.

The work will require crews to cut off the bridge deck and take the barrier off the side.

Cracks on about six other girders that were damaged during the crash will be filled with epoxy, he said.

Major closures of Highway 395 will be limited to between 11 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. to minimize traffic issues, he said.

A detour will be provided, where traffic will be directed up the off-ramps and back down the on-ramps, Adams said.

Closures will be announced online, at wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/SouthCentral/Construction. The information is updated weekly.