Manette Bridge Cost Goes Up; Aesthetics Go Down

In doing a little background research for this item about an open house for the new Manette Bridge project (May 5, 4-7 p.m., Norm Dicks Government Center), I came across a story I wrote in 1999. It said that the $18 million Manette Bridge replacement was being delayed because the $180 million Hood Canal Bridge was hogging all the money.

Fast forward 10 years, and the price tag on the Hood Canal Bridge is now $499 million and the estimate for the Manette Bridge is $83 million. The project page for the Manette Bridge says the costs have increased “due to unusually high construction cost escalation” the past few years. As a result, some of the aesthetic concepts presented in previous public meetings are no longer included as part of the project. DOT says it will work with the community and and support its efforts to get other funding for enhancements.

Construction on the Manette Bridge was supposed to start in 2001 before DOT decided it couldn’t wait any longer to replace the east half of the Hood Canal Bridge. Now construction is expected to start in the summer of 2010. It is expected to open to traffic in November 2013.