Agate Pass Bridge will be down to one lane for 21 days starting Feb. 9
for cleaning and inspection.
One lane will be closed 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through
Friday, and 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, according to
Washington State Department of Transportation.
The bridge, which was built in 1950 and is more than 1,000 feet
long, has about 22,000 vehicles cross a day
Bainbridge Island Mayor Anne Blair assured residents the council
voiced their concern with WSDOT, along with Poulsbo city officials
and the Suquamish Tribe, about traffic issues.
“The cries of ‘Are you kidding?’ and ‘Can you do something
else?’ were loud,” Blair said. “They are certainly aware of the
Work cannot be done at night, because of safety and efficiency
concerns, WSDOT said.
Workers will remove “yards of hardened debris and animal
droppings by hand, a time-consuming and labor-intensive
WSDOT has to remove the debris by hand, unless it can “fully
encase” the bridge to meet water quality standards. The
full-encasement requirement is too expensive for WSDOT, the agency
said, and cleaning the bridge is the affordable alternative that
meets the Clean Water Act requirements.
Crews also will repair and patch the bridge and roadway, sealing
joints, replacing rivets and repairing damaged rails and walkway
railing. If possible, they will remove rust from the bridge,
Bicyclists and pedestrians will be “escorted” across the bridge
while work is being done, and “accommodations” will be made for
While the Chilly Hilly bike route does not go across the bridge,
those going to the event Feb. 22 should expect delays.
The work is done in February to avoid the peregrine falcon
nesting period. The falcon is a protected species and have
historically nested on the bridge. February also has less traffic
than summer months.
Freezing rain and snow could delay work on the bridge, which
hasn’t been cleaned since 1991. It is inspected every two years,
requiring lane closures then as well. It was last inspected in 2013.