Heavy traffic is expected this weekend on the Allen Street and Peter Crawford bridges in Kelso, as traffic is detoured away from the Harry Morgan Bridge on Tennant Way. As part of a project to rehabilitate the bridge deck, the Washington Department of Transportation is closing the bridge completely at 7 pm tonight, and that closure will be in place until 6 am on Monday. WashDOT says that the bridge deck has severe cracks and ruts that need to be repaired, and this full closure is needed to be able to continue the project. The closure affects the eastbound lanes only; westbound Tennant Way will remain open as normal. Drivers coming north on 3rd and 1st Avenues also need to be ready for the gas main replacement project that’s under way just south of the Hall of Justice. An estimated 35 thousand vehicles use the Harry Morgan Bridge every day, and that traffic will moving through downtown Kelso through the weekend. Transportation officials say that they tried to pick a weekend that didn’t have a lot of extra traffic coming in or out of town, avoiding Squirrel Fest and the Highlander Festival. Another full closure of the bridge will be needed next month to complete paving, but that hasn’t been scheduled as of yet.
Weather delayed a previously planned closure of Beulah Drive, and Cowlitz County Public Works is now planning to start with that closure today. Advanced Excavating Specialists of Longview has been contracted to complete a project for the Beacon Hill Water and Sewer District, with complete closures of the south end of Beulah Drive planned from 7 am to 6 pm today. Similar closures are planned next Monday and Tuesday. Detours will be posted; use alternate routes to avoid delays.