CHEHALIS - Drivers traveling across the South Fork Chehalis River Bridge on SR 6 will encounter brief delays when traffic on the bridge is temporarily reduced to one lane around-the-clock for five days.

A temporary signal system on each side of the bridge will alternate traffic 24 hours a day for five consecutive days through Jan. 9. Closures are not planned over the weekend.

This bridge is located between Raymond and Chehalis, just west of Adna.

The lane closures are necessary for crews to install steel piles to strengthen the existing roadway as they prepare to construct a major structural component of the new bridge.

The guardrail on SR 6 will be removed and equipment will be operating in the roadway. The construction area will be separated by cones to protect motorists and construction crews during this work.

WSDOT is replacing the 83-year-old South Fork Chehalis River Bridge with a new bridge just 20 feet to the north. The current bridge structure over the South Fork of the Chehalis River is only 22 feet wide - too narrow for large vehicles to safely cross the bridge at the same time. The new, wider two-lane bridge will improve safety and reduce congestion along this stretch of SR 6 by allowing traffic to more freely flow in both directions, reducing the bottleneck caused by the old bridge's narrow structure.

The project's next milestone is in March 2009, when contractor crews begin setting girders for the new bridge. The $10 million project is on-budget and on-schedule for completion in late summer 2009.

For weekly updates on this and other construction-related traffic impacts in the region, please visit the WSDOT Southwest Region Weekly Travel Advisory Web page: (www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/SouthWest/Construction/default.htm).

For more information about the SR 6 - South Fork Chehalis River Bridge Replacement project, please visit the project Web page at (www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR6/ChehalisRiverBridge).

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