LEAVENWORTH – Completion of a new bridge over Drury Canyon Creek in Tumwater Canyon Friday, Sept. 13, marked the end of a seven-day closure of 15 miles of state Highway 2 between Leavenworth and state route 207.
Drivers should expect some single lane closures and occasional delays the rest of the month as crews wrap up construction activities.
Crews working with the Washington State Department of Transportation replaced the aging Drury Canyon Creek Bridge, which was showing significant wear on the bridge footings. The new bridge requires no footings in the creek and has a wider deck, with two 12-foot-wide lanes and 6-foot-wide shoulders.
Crews also built new turning lanes into the Tumwater Campground connections to two other new bridges and a separate project that improves flood control and eliminates a fish barrier where nearby Skinney Creek passes under US 2.
Work at Drury Canyon Creek is part of an $8.1 million project to replace three bridges on state Highway 2, including the 100-year-old Wenatchee River “Green” Bridge and the Chiwaukum Creek Bridge. The two-year-long project is now in its final stage and is expected to be complete this fall.
The new Wenatchee River and Chiwaukum Creek bridges were built alongside the existing bridges, so disruptions to drivers were minimal. For the 77-year-old Drury Canyon Creek Bridge, steep terrain in upper Tumwater Canyon made it impossible to build a new bridge next to the old one, so the highway had to be closed.
During the weeklong closure, passenger vehicles followed a signed detour through the Chumstick Valley using SR 207 and county roads. The detour added about 15 minutes to the trip.
That route wasn’t suitable for large vehicles, which had to detour to I-90 Snoqualmie Pass and US 97 Blewett Pass. That inconvenience was compounded when the North Cascades Highway (state Highway 20) was closed by mudslides Sept. 6-12.