8-mile backups possible for Bremerton as Warren Avenue Bridge undergoes construction

The week of July 5 usually signals the start of road construction ramping up for the two driest months of the year, and now it’s Bremerton’s turn for a project that will cut access to either side of the city in half.

The Warren Avenue Bridge connects east and west Bremerton over the Port Washington Narrows. 37,000 cars a day use this connection, but its capacity will be cut in half over the next three weekends.  “Big constructing coming up this weekend,” WSDOT’s Doug Adamson said.  “We’re really going to need a lot of help from people as we reduce the traffic on there to one lane in each direction, and this is the first of three weekends we’re going to be  doing this.”

The bridge deck needs a lot of work.  “Fixing the leaky areas that are on there,” Adamson said.  “We’re chipping out the old concrete.   We’re going to be removing the areas of damaged concrete and then replacing it.”

The work zone and lane reductions will be active from 8 p.m. Friday night through early Monday morning.

Adamson said backups could reach 8 miles if people don’t take other routes or alter their trips. This is also going to cause big problems for people going to St. Michael Medical Center, which is just east of the bridge, and those heading to the baseball fields at Lions Park. You can expect heavy slowing on Highway 3 for those trying to avoid it and the smaller Manette Bridge altogether. It could be difficult just getting out of your Bremerton neighborhood.

“We can’t remove half the lanes from this bridge and not have significant backups unless we get a lot of help from people traveling through the area,” Adamson said.

“Go early. Go late. Take transit. Make plans for different weekends. Any little bit helps.”

Adamson said this is just a temporary fix to the bridge, with more repairs coming.  In a few years, the entire bridge deck will get a new overlay.

And if you end up in the backup this weekend, please remember you will be stopped through neighborhoods. Do not block driveways or intersections so that other traffic can get through.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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