Demolition begins on the Southworth Drive Bridge

Demolition began Monday for the Southworth Drive Bridge.  - Kaitlin Strohschein/Staff Photo
Demolition began Monday for the Southworth Drive Bridge.
— image credit: Kaitlin Strohschein/Staff Photo

Demolition crews began, Monday, to wreck the 81-year-old Southworth Drive Bridge that crosses the Curley Creek estuary.

A longer, wider single-span bridge is slated to replace it.

“I think it’s going to be a great project,” said  Ed Smith, the project’s manager. “That’s the rout I take to the ferry, and it’s going to be much safer.”

Improved driver safety, through longer sight distance, is one of several justifications the county’s public works department has cited for the $2,332,655 project.

Others include:

  • wider lanes for traffic,
  • the addition of bike lanes and an additional sidewalk
  • structural improvements and
  • improvements to the stream and estuary under the bridge.

The bridge’s width will increase from about 26 feet to about 44 feet. Each traffic lane will increase from 11 feet each to 12 feet each, with a 5-foot bike lane and 5-foot sidewalk on each side.

Construction crews will also change the channel under the bridge.

Its width will grow to twice its current size, and the construction crew will remove bridge piers in the stream channel as well as a partial fish barrier.

“I think everyone agreed that this was a good project, environmentally,” Smith said.

The county’s planning department has budgeted $300,000 for the project’s preliminary engineering, and $2,032,655 for construction, for a total cost of $2,332,655.

The planning department has budgeted $875,000 for the project to come from federal funds, and $1,457,655 from local funds.

The project is slated to last until February, 2012, and the county has suggested Banner, Locker, or Sedgwick Road as a detour rout for the 4,825 drivers who previously commuted across the bridge each day.




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