Drivers will encounter construction workers and some minor delays east of Sequim this summer while passing lanes are built on U.S. Highway 101 for the Hood Canal bridge replacement project.
The $4.4 million project will add one highway lane westbound and one lane eastbound in the Blyn area from milepost 272.29 to milepost 273, which includes the Blyn Road and Old Blyn Highway intersections.
Contractor Bruch and Bruch Construction Inc. of Port Angeles started work the first week of July and is expected to finish in mid-October. The construction schedule is 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"Drivers will be able to move through the project area on the road shoulder. At times there will be flaggers directing alternating one-way traffic through the project site. Delays will be up to 15 minutes during tree removal," said Lisa Murdock spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
The passing lanes are being built as an overall highway safety project as well as to keep traffic flowing more smoothly when the Hood Canal bridge shuts down for two months in May and June 2009, Murdock said.
The project's funding sources include $3.3 million from the 2003 nickel gas tax increase and $1 million in existing money.
The Jimmycomelately Creek Estuary restoration project completed in 2006 was part of the wetlands mitigation for the project.
Two more passing lane projects are scheduled for the summer of 2009 after the two month closure of the Hood Canal bridge.
A $2.82 million project to add westbound and eastbound passing lanes in the Gardiner area at milepost 276 is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2009 and be completed by November 2009.
A $3.55 million project to add passing lanes west of Blyn from the vicinity of Dawley Road to the Old Blyn Highway is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2009 and be completed by December 2009.
The $470 million Hood Canal bridge retrofit and replacement project will replace the bridge's eastern half in the summer of 2009 and retrofit the western half by December 2010.
The bridge's western half reopened in October 1982 after sinking during a Feb. 13, 1979, windstorm.
For more information, contact the project office at 360-570-6660 or toll-free 888-461-8843.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
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