Peshastin Bridge Work In 2024 Moved Up To Avoid Harvest Season
The bridge which connects the Peshastin community with U.S. Hwy 2 will be closed for a major construction project next year.
The bridge will be completely closed for four to five weeks while the bridge deck is being replaced.
Chelan County Commissioner Shon Smith told fellow commissioners Monday the project will likely get underway in mid-June to avoid congestion on the detour route which is heavily used by fruit trucks.
"We kind of moved our proposed window up about a month to try and hit it right after school gets out, so that the fruit industry won't be impacted so hard as soon as it comes time to harvest," said Smith.
Apples and other tree fruits grown in the area are into harvest season by August every year.
Traffic will be diverted about 10 miles on North Road into Leavenworth to gain access to U.S. 2 during the project.
Chelan County Public Works held a community meeting last Thursday at Peshastin Memorial Hall to discuss the bridge project.
Commissioner Smith attended the meeting. He said there was vigorous conversation in which he was able to stipulate that a complete rebuild of the bridge was not feasible at a price tag of $40-50 million.
Replacing the bridge deck will be a couple of million dollar patch that'll keep the bridge functional over the long-term.
The Peshatin Bridge was built in 1932, making it 91 years old, although it appears to have had updates over the years.
Smith said Monday that the biggest hardship during the project will be the long detour through Leavenworth.
"The tough part is going to be having to leave Peshastin and go all the way up to Leavenworth, and then come down to Wenatchee," Smith said. "It's going to be that giant loop put in there when you normally just shoot out to the highway and come into Wenatchee."
The contractor would not be able to close only one lane while working because of the narrow width of the bridge
The bridge’s expansion joints, which allow the concrete bridge to naturally expand and contract, also will be repaired.
The Peshastin Bridge work is part of a larger project that includes repairs to a variety of bridges in the county using a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Also scheduled for deck repairs in 2024 are the Ardenvoir (Mad River Road) and Chiwawa River (Chiwawa Loop Road) bridges. Expansion joints will be repaired on the Chelan Falls (Chelan Falls Road), New Griffith (Entiat River Road) and Stone Hill (Colockum Pass Road) bridges.
Missoula's Beartracks Bridge Rebuild
Gallery Credit: Dennis Bragg