salmon creek

Looking downstream toward Okanogan, a crew works on the new Salmon Creek bridge in October 2019

OKANOGAN – A portion of Salmon Creek Road will remain closed through Feb. 28 while a bridge replacement project is wrapped up.

Okanogan County Department of Public Works announced Jan. 9 that the road will remain closed, rather than reopening that day as planned.

Statler bridge, south of the Glover Lane intersection, is being replaced after being damaged in mid-2018. Officials said they blame higher-than-normal flows during May 2018 for scouring a large rock out from under the bridge and continuing th undermine the structure during continued high flows that summer.

“The creek is now dry, which revealed the damage,” said county Engineer Josh Thomson in September 2018. “There was a large pool where the rock was scoured out, which hid the issue for a while.”

Repairs were made at the time, but the county later decided to replace the bridge.

“The old structure had deteriorated, and the high runoff in the spring of 2018 undermined the footings, causing damage that could not reasonably be fully repaired,” said Thomson on Jan. 9.

He said N&N Excavation, Mead, is constructing a 68-foot span concrete structure over the creek.

“The contractor has run into some snags and is behind schedule,” he said. “Per our contract, they were supposed to open the road today, and the last working day for the project is Feb. 13,” he said. “There are liquidated damages – monetary penalties – for exceeding contract working days, but no penalties for not opening today.”

He said his office has not received any complaints about the closure.

The bridge has been closed since mid-September 2019 and had a 15-ton weight limit for a year before the closure.

A detour, which is signed, is available.

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