Warren Avenue Bridge construction: so that the water may flow

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Six million gallons a day. That’s how much water Bremerton’s utility customers drink everyday.

To get the city’s rather unique water supply across town to East Bremerton, the city’s utilities department relies upon three pipes: two by bridge and one underwater.

There’s a foot-wide pipe under the Manette Bridge, an 18-inch underwater pipe that goes under the Port Washington Narrows between Snyder Avenue and Lions Park, and a 20-inch pipe — the biggest — that runs under the Warren Avenue Bridge.

But as of last week, the Warren Avenue Bridge’s water main was shut down.

No need to panic, though: the bridge is undergoing a $1.4 million water main replacement project. I’m sure you’ve spotted that scaffolding (pictured) along the bridge, where a contractor’s cutting out the old and corroding steel pipe and putting in a new one.

You shouldn’t notice much in the way of construction, says Ned Lever, a Bremerton Public Works project manager. Pedestrians can’t access the bridge’s eastern walkway. And while the contractor IMCO can close one lane every night, they can only do 20 midday road closures (and only between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and up to five two-lane road closures at nighttime. 

Crews will replace the water main 40 feet at a time. The project should be done in April.

And as for East Bremerton’s water supply? Will the remaining two pipes be able to carry the load during construction?

Yep, says Lever.

“You shouldn’t even notice a difference,” he said.

(Below: The City of Bremerton’s main water supply, in the Union River at Casad Dam west of Gorst.)

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