Work on the $57.8 million replacement of the picturesque
yet potentially precarious Manette Bridge is still roaring
along. And lately, construction spectators like yours
truly have noticed that the crews of Manson and Mowat are about to
turn a corner.
As Kitsap Sun reporter Ed Friedrich
wrote a few weeks back, construction will soon go from vertical
to horizontal. Now that the piers have emerged through construction
to form the new bridge’s foundation, barges will be bringing in
enormous girders to bridge between the piers.
The first of these girders recently arrived (see photo): it’s
123-foot-long and weighs 330,000 pounds, according to the
Washington State Department of Transportation. The girder will be
placed on Pier 2 — the pier closest to the Bremerton side —
sometime this month. We hope to bring you video of crews putting it
Moving a sewer line on the Manette side has delayed the project
somewhat but crews are working to make up the lost time. It’s hard
to believe that by the end of this year, we may in fact be driving
on a brand new bridge.
Watching the crews from
Manson and Mowat build the new Manette Bridge is like a kind of
As someone naive yet fascinated by by such a mammoth project,
each day brings its share of surprises. What will spring up
We’re now about two months into the $57.8 million project and
the piers are taking shape. The 12-foot wide cylinders are mostly
filled with giant purple rebar cages (see photos) and crews are
pouring concrete into them. The cylinder is plunged deep into the
ground underneath the Port Washington Narrows.
On the pier closest to the downtown Bremerton waterfront, a
complete concrete base appears to be poured, as you can also
Most days, spectators frequent the 80-year-old Manette Bridge’s
skinny rickety walkway, wide-eyed like me to watch a construction
company perform what seems like a Herculean feat.
To me, life can be a lot like building a new bridge.
Here’s why: When looking at the complete picture, the tasks
ahead can seem daunting. But when taking on things one piece on at
a time, life’s projects become doable.
I was in awe watching the second
Tacoma Narrows Bridge go up, and now, those of us in Bremerton
get a front row seat to the $57.8 million project to build a new
If you’ve taken the rickety 80-year-old bridge recently, you
know it’s, well, aged. But Washington State Department of
Transportation officials say it’s
worse than might you think. Using a 100-point scale for
“structural sufficiency” (100 being a brand new bridge) they say
that bridges with a score of 80 or less demand corrective action.
Ones 50 or less are eligible for federal funding.
And the Manette Bridge scored a whopping 16.8.
So we’re getting a new bridge. I’ll be shooting videos,
showcasing the construction by
contractor Manson and Mowat, until they get ‘er done in early
“… They’re working on steel pilings to support the platform,
said Jeff Cook, project engineer for the state Department of
Transportation. After the platform is built, a drilling rig will be
placed on it. The rig will set a permanent casing — a
12-foot-diameter steel tube — down to the hardpan beneath the Port
Washington Narrows. Soil will be augered out of the tube, then a
rebar carriage will be placed inside and concrete poured for the
shaft. Then it’s on to the next pier. There are two shafts for each
pier and eight piers overall.”