As blue bridge traffic speeds by overhead, workers beneath are cleaning and painting the metal surfaces.
It’s been 25 years since the steel arch-through bridge connecting Pasco to Kennewick received a fresh coat.
But don’t worry — the paint colors will remain the same — blue and gray.
The 66-year-old bridge spanning the Columbia River wasn’t always blue. When it first opened in 1954, it sported green paint.
This summer’s bridge work is taking place under the wheels passing above on Highway 395 so the painting project will not affect traffic.
The existing steel bridge surface needs to be repainted as it is deteriorated and peeling, exposing the steel to the elements, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Workers are cleaning and repainting the surface to prolong the life of the Tri-City landmark.
The first stage of the $8.8 million project will prevent further deterioration and preserve the steel truss elements supporting the roadway deck and the horizontal section defining the lower part of the truss.
This stage is set be completed by fall 2020.
The second stage involves painting the remaining steel elements of the bridge, the truss spans. It’s set to start in 2023.
Go to bit.ly/wsdotbluebridge to see what it looks like beneath the bridge.
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