The in basket: Larry Avery, Jeff David and Robert Balcomb have
posed the latest questions to the Road Warrior column about the new
Manette Bridge in Bremerton.
Larry said on Dec. 29, “(I) was at the Boat Shed this afternoon
and it doesn’t seem like anything has happened there in some
“Sure, they have been working on the demo of our old bridge, but
has the state let the contractor slide on getting the final work
done on the new bridge?
“Is this thing on schedule?”
Jeff, a former Bremerton police traffic officer, asks,”When is
someone going to admit that they should have had a right turn off
the bridge like before to move many vehicles onto Shore Drive
and East 11th, rather they enduring two stop signs on Pitt and East
11th. It’s nice to have a park, but at what expense?”
Robert writes, “There was a plan circulated around town
concerned with turning the old Manette Bridge into a People’s
Bridge, such as for abandoned traffic and railroad bridges in
America and Europe.
“I photographed the bridge from the Boatshed Restaurant, and
wife Mary Balcomb painted it to show what could have been a public
walkway and gathering place. The picture circulated widely,
gathering many signatures in favor. Also we spoke with
several engineers who agreed that the understructures can be
up-kept just like has been done for other bridges.”
The out basket: Jeff Cook, the state’s project engineer on the
bridge replacement, said on Dec. 30, “The demolition of the old
Manette Bridge has been the most noticeable operation over the last
six weeks, however a great deal more has been ongoing as well, some
which cannot be seen from the south side.
“The overhang brackets that supported the barrier and deck
construction of the north side of the bridge are completing the
“The massive beams which supported the construction of the
first span on west side took several weeks to unfasten and
‘”Grading operations for the east and west banks were completed
and the expanded viewscape construction is nearly complete with
only planting remaining.
“At any given time there have been three to five separate
operations occurring beyond the … demolition.
“So the next question will likely be: What’s left?
– “The contractor will complete the demolition of the two
remaining concrete piers; both on the east side in the beach
area. This is tidally dependent, will be at night, and likely
complete by the middle of January.
– “The contractor has been awaiting the final shipments of green
railing to be installed on the south side of the bridge. A
fabrication issue delayed the delivery, but the remaining materials
are scheduled to be on site then in place by the end of January.
Once installed, the sidewalk will be open to the full 10-foot
width.” Gaps in the north side rail also have awaited the overdue
pieces, he said.
– “Planting for the viewscape and the center of the
roundabout will complete approximately the middle of January.
-“The last work under this contract will be the application of
pigmented sealer to the girder faces and end piers. (The public
will generally see this as ‘painting’).
“(It) must occur when the temperature is consistently above 50
degrees and not raining.
“What will likely happen is all the work above will complete,
the contractor will leave the site, then return in April to
complete the pigmented sealing of the bridge. This work will take
approximately three weeks and will be conducted from barges.
“So, yes we are on schedule. The contractor has been
working on several operations, both day and night, to complete the
Answers to Jeff David’s and Robert’s questions are found in the
“frequently asked questions” segment of the state’s Manette Bridge
Web site at
A roundabout connection to Shore Drive would have been too
steep, so wasn’t built, it says.
Due to the deteriorated condition of the old bridge, it would
present a real risk to the new bridge during a major earthquake, if
left in place, it also said.