The new West Cashmere Bridge is now open to all traffic.

Project contractors removed the barricades at both ends of the bridge early Sunday morning.

Chelan County public information officer, Jill FitzSimmons, says drivers who used to cross the old Goodwin Bridge in the same location will notice the new span’s extended length, as well as a new roundabout at its northern approach.

“The new bridge now spans over the highway,” explained FitzSimmons. “And that roundabout is very large but it has five points to it. It is our first roundabout in the county.”

Construction on the 1,000-foot-long bridge began in May of 2020 and it opened seven months later than scheduled due to permitting delays with BNSF (Burlington Northern Sante Fe).

The total cost of the project was $26.7 million, with more than 90 percent of its funding coming from state and federal sources.

FitzSimmons says a formal opening of the bridge is planned but the County wanted to put it to use immediately.

“We are going to have a dedication ceremony over on the Hay Canyon side next week on the 22nd, but we did not want to hold the bridge back for a week. Our county engineer wanted it open – so it’s open.”

The new bridge was built due to critical safety ratings given to its predecessor, which was not projected to safely be able to carry heavy loads beyond the year 2030.