Few things disrupt traffic flow like a bridge closure, and the tenuous state of a damaged and aging highway overpass in Chehalis is no exception.

Two years ago, a semi-truck hauling a pair of excavators hit a portion of the 60-year-old Chamber Way overpass, which spans southbound Interstate 5 in Chehalis and connects a vibrant commercial center west of the highway to downtown Chehalis.

A temporary bridge was installed, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) awarded a $10.9 million contract early last year to Quigg Bros., Inc. of Aberdeen to design and build a wider, taller, and permanent overpass that offers improved access for bicyclists and pedestrians, and it will be incorporated into a future improvement project along I-5 and its adjacent intersections.

The new bridge is built, and crews plan to finish the roadway connections later this month. WSDOT plans to close Chamber Way between the I-5 ramps for 60 hours beginning Mon., Oct. 15, at 7 p.m., and re-opening on Thurs., Oct. 18, at 7 a.m., weather permitting.

“The extended closure of Chamber Way eliminates three weeks of staged construction, significantly reducing overall traffic impacts prior to the start of the holiday season,” said WSDOT project engineer Susan Fell. “We understand that the closure will affect all users of this well-traveled overpass and we are doing our best to minimize impacts to the community and traveling public.”

Signed detours will guide travelers through the area during the closure. Bicyclists and pedestrians can cross I-5 using the new bridge during the closure.

More detailed information about the closure is available online here.