For those of you that don’t live in Bremerton, you may not know much about the construction on the Manette Bridge. I actually learned a lot when I was doing some research for those post, so even for those of you living in Bremerton, you might learn a thing or two.
The construction matters to Kyle and I because we live in Manette, right off one side of the bridge. There is another bridge (Warren Ave. Bridge) we can take when the current Manette Bridge is closed, it just adds 5-10 minutes depending on where we are going.
They are constructing a brand spankin’ new bridge right next to the current bridge. The in-water construction began August 2, and so far the impacts are minimal. These are some highlights from the WSDOT website:
- The old Manette Bridge was built in 1930 and is currently structurally deficient and functionally obsolete
- There is currently (as of March 2008) a maximum allowable vehicle weight as a result of findings from a routine inspection, which will extend its useful life until the new bridge is constructed
- The new bridge is being built immediately south of the existing bridge (For you Bremertonians, between the old Manette Bridge and the Boat Shed) and will be open to traffic for most of the construction
- The old Manette Bridge will have two phases of closures – the first is happening right now between Wednesday night at 8pm and Thursday night at 8pm to pour concrete. The other phase is when they build the outer portion of the new bridge, which will happen much later in mid-2011.
- During both periods of closures, pedestrians are still able to use the existing bridge (good news for us on our morning and afternoon walks to and from the ferry!)
- The new bridge will be open to the public in late-2011 or early-2012
Now, for my personal favorite parts about the new bridge:
- There will be a MUCH wider 12 foot sidewalk (over double the current size) for pedestrians.
- There will also be MUCH wider 5 foot shoulders for cyclists (I believe right now we’re at zero feet for cyclists – and just the lanes alone are very small)
- Check out this photo of how narrow the sidewalk and lanes are right now! The reason they are widening it is to improve mobility and safety in Bremerton (which we are all for!!)
- Check out this cool drawing I found on the WSDOT website of the comparison of the old bridge and new bridge
- On the Manette side of the bridge, there will be a roundabout to enhance traffic flow
The Manette Bridge construction is interesting to see if you get a chance to check it out. It would make a fun adventure to walk the bridge with a friend and get a drink at the Boat Shed on the Manette side.
My favorite commuting day so far has been Thursdays because that is when the bridge is closed, and there is so much more going on! We’re still able to walk on the bridge when it’s closed to vehicles, so we walk by these huge machines and tools they temporarily have right on the bridge. They have three big barges with cranes on the water.
We noticed Thursday that they were pumping concrete across the bridge in a pipe, which then went into one of the large pillars in the water (picutred here is before they hooked the pipe up to the machine that pumped it into the pillar):
You can see the pipe going up and over the bridge on the upper right side of the photo:
Although the bridge construction and closures can be a bit of a pain, I’m personally all for it. I believe in the bright future of Bremerton and think a new and improved bridge is a step in the right direction!