US 2 between Leavenworth and State Route 207 at Coles Corner will be closed for six days in early September to replace the Drury Canyon Creek Bridge in Tumwater Canyon. The closure is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept.8, and continue until noon Friday, Sept. 13. A signed detour from US 2 between Coles Corner and Leavenworth using SR 207 and the Chumstick Highway will add a half hour to the trip.
During the closure, recreationists bound for trailheads between Coles Corner and the Tumwater Campground and Hatchery Creek may access those from the west, while from Leavenworth on the east end of the closure, those wanting to access climbing locations and trailheads will be allowed access 5 miles into the Canyon, as far as the Alps candy store.
In addition, trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds are prohibited on Chumstick Highway and must use Interstate 90, Snoqualmie Pass and US 97, Blewett Pass, instead of US 2, Stevens Pass.
This week-long closure was originally scheduled for late August, however, it was postponed when delivery of critical bridge components was delayed.
After two years of construction, the $8.1 million project to replace three bridges is now in the final stage, requiring its only significant highway closure. New bridges include the Drury Canyon Creek Bridge, 7 miles west of Leavenworth, the 100-year-old “Green Bridge” two miles further west at the top of the Canyon and the Chiwaukum Creek Bridge less than a mile farther west on US 2.
The new Wenatchee River and Chiwaukum Creek Bridges were built alongside the existing bridges, so traffic impact has been minimal. For the 22-foot-long Drury Canyon Creek Bridge, built in 1937, steep terrain in upper Tumwater Canyon makes it impossible to build a new bridge next to the old one. That stretch of U.S. 2 must be closed for crews to remove the old bridge and install the new one.
The bridge is being replaced due to years of wear on the bridge footings. Crews will retrofit the bridge by removing the existing 24-foot-wide deck and setting a new box culvert between the abutment walls. The new structure will require no footings in the creek. The new 36-foot-wide deck will have two 12-foot lanes and 6-foot shoulders. The work also includes new turning lanes into the U.S. Forest Service Tumwater Campground. Crews will also complete connections to the other two new bridges and another project that eliminates a fish barrier where Skinney Creek passes under US 2 between Coles Corner and Tumwater. When the construction wraps up, all three new bridges will be open to traffic. Work will continue into the fall to demolish the old bridges and restore the environment.
At this time, the speed limit for the mile and a half of US 2 west of Tumwater Campground has been reduced from 60 to 50 mph. while the work to connect the new bridges to US 2, and do final shoulder, guardrail, signage and striping is completed by the end of September.
Check these Project web pages for more information: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US2/WenatcheeRiverBridge/