NORTHPORT – Inspections by Washington State Department of Transportation bridge engineers revealed extensive corrosion on the State Route 25 bridge that crosses the Columbia River at Northport. (5 miles south of the Frontier Border Crossing near Rossland BC).
As a precaution, crews will reduce SR 25 to a single lane, with alternating traffic controlled by flagging personnel starting at approximately 3 p.m. today, Thursday, Jan. 5. This restriction will remain in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Weight restrictions for vehicles over 10,000 lbs. will be in place with only one vehicle permitted on the bridge at a time. Over-legal weight or wide loads will not be permitted at any time.
Drivers can expect long delays this afternoon as the crews set up the lane restrictions. Real-time traffic information about this closure will be posted on the WSDOT mobile app, and on the Travel Alerts webpage.
An in-depth review and assessment in December indicated that heavy rust has penetrated large bolts that provide the connection of the steel trusses to the piers at the north and south ends of the span and weight restrictions would be needed.
“We were surprised at the depth of corrosion we found within these bolts during our inspection,” said Bridge Preservation Engineer Harvey Coffman.
Bridge engineers at WSDOT headquarters in Olympia have designed a temporary counter balance to reduce the stress on the bolts while plans and specifications for permanent repairs can be formulated. It may take up to six months for the repairs to be completed. No cost estimates are available at this time.
The 1,500 foot-long, steel-truss bridge was constructed in 1948. Located just 5 miles south of the US/Canada border, about 500-800 vehicles use the bridge every day with trucks comprising around 40 percent of that total.