New bridge on Southworth Drive open for traffic

Motorists drive over fresh concrete on the new Curly Creek Bridge.  - Brett Cihon
Motorists drive over fresh concrete on the new Curly Creek Bridge.
— image credit: Brett Cihon

Southworth residents can breath easy. The commute is back to normal.

The new Curley Creek Bridge was opened for traffic on Friday, which is welcome news for residents who have waited for months to use Southworth Drive again for their daily commutes.

By Friday afternoon, the bridge was seeing light traffic, with one or two motorists even turning around and driving over the bridge twice, excited with the new concrete and shiny guardrails.

"The major work is done," Tina Nelson, Senior Program Manager for Public Works, said in post Thursday on the Kitsap County website. "There is still some ancillary work that will cause some delays in the upcoming weeks, but we will be able to open the bridge to traffic Friday."

Additional delays may be experienced by motorists in the next few weeks as ancillary work on and around the bridge continues, according to the website. Delays are expected to be short, and traffic control will be in place as needed.

The scheduled opening date for the bridge had been March 8, which is when county officials plan to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new span. The bridge will be closed from 1-3 p.m. that day.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. at the bridge or at nearby South Colby United Methodist Church, and will feature guest speakers, a brass band, and a parade of antique cars over the bridge. The Yukon Harbor Historical Society is providing the antique cars, including a 1929 model T to lead the parade.

Organizers also are looking to find the resident who has lived in the Southworth/Colby area the longest, and that person will have the opportunity to ride in the lead car as grand marshall of the antique car parade. Residents may submit their contact information and the number of years they've lived in the area to for consideration.

The old bridge was torn down in August, but cornerstone commemorating its 1929 completion has been preserved.

"The value of this bridge, both to man and to nature, cannon be understated," said Russel Neyman of the historical society. “The new design allows for the restoration of the rich natural habitat here, as well as meeting the needs of the traveling public. It is an essential piece of the fabric of this community.”

More information about the history of the bridge is available on the website of the historical society.


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