2017 repaving on Highway 303 won’t include bridge

The in basket: A Feb. 2 story in this newspaper about hopes that the pedestrian and bicycle pathway on the Warren Avenue Bridge in Bremerton could be widened mentioned in passing that a repaving of the bridge in 2017 would be a good time to accomplish that if engineers can find a way to do it and a funding source can be identified by then.
I wondered if the bridge’s days as a patch-work quilt are about to end.
The driving surface has been a jumble of patches since an experimental product was used in the 1980s to repave it. I have been told by state bridge engineers that the surface, for all its unsightliness, has accomplished its main goal of protecting the steel structure beneath. And I can’t say the the ride is a rough as it looks like it would be.
An earlier news story said the work would be part of the repaving of much of Highway 303, known variously as Waaga Way and Wheaton Way, which includes the bridge. I asked what kind of surface would replace the current one.
The out basket: None, as it turns out. Initial plans to resurface the bridge as part of the work have changed, Neil Campbell of the state Department of Transportation told a Bremerton audience Thursday night. Instead, continued repairs and patching of its driving surface will be done while traffic control for the paving on either end of it is in place, said Claudia Bingham-Baker of the Olympic Region of state highways.
“In the 2017 construction season,” she said, “we plan to pave SR 303 between NE William E. Sutton Road and SR 304 (Burwell Street) in Bremerton.
“The current plan is to exclude the Warren Avenue bridge deck from that paving project. That is not unusual, as bridge decks are usually excluded from paving projects because their surfaces are paved with different materials, and require different equipment and different expertise than roadway paving.
“The ‘experimental product’ used on the deck in the 1980s was a polyester concrete mix. At the time, it was a relatively new product but has been used many times since. It does require the correct application conditions and techniques to be effective, and on the Warren Avenue Bridge the concrete did not set up as we would have hoped.  The result has been patches to the bridge deck ever since.
“During the 2017 paver, we will take advantage of the traffic control to do more deck patching and surface repairs.
“In the meantime, the city is contemplating changing pedestrian access across the bridge deck. Although we own the bridge, the city has operational control of the bridge, and we are waiting to see what changes they choose to pursue, what funding sources can be secured, and if those plans would require any changes to our paving project.”

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