May Valley Road bridge reopens early

October 13, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

Both lanes of the new Bandaret Bridge opened to vehicles last week.Work wrapped on the $2.4 million project Oct. 8. King County crews replaced the narrow timber span across Issaquah Creek three weeks earlier than expected, King County Department of Transportation spokeswoman Rochelle Ogershok said.

The structure carries Southeast May Valley Road across the creek between 230th Avenue Southeast and 231st Place Southeast. About 5,100 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

Bandaret Bridge includes lanes 12 feet wide lined with shoulders 8 feet wide. The new bridge replaces a structure deemed “functionally obsolete” by county transportation planners. The deck of the old bridge consisted of narrow shoulders and lanes 11 feet wide.

Crews kept the bridge open to traffic and built the bridge in phases to save money. During the first phase of construction, a single lane of the old bridge remained in use while part of the new span was built.

The old bridge remained open to traffic until a single lane was completed on the new structure. The old bridge was then demolished and the second lane of the new bridge was constructed in its place.

Officials restricted the bridge to a single lane March 19. Keeping a single lane open during construction was the cheapest option considered by the King County Road Services Division. Transportation planners opted to build the bridge in phases to preserve the existing roadway alignment.

A full closure of the bridge would have speeded construction, but required commuters to make a nine-mile detour.

Temporary traffic signals were added at each end of the bridge during construction. Crews also installed a Web camera at the construction site to allow commuters to check traffic backups at the crossing.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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