The White River bridge is planned to be painted, starting spring of 2018. The last time the bridge was worked on was April 2016, when it was closed to replace a beam that was hit and made the bridge structurally unsound. File photo by Ray Still

Buckley grants noise exemption for bridge painting

Those who travel the White River Bridge between Enumclaw and Buckley will again face some minor traffic tangles, but there’s no need for motorists to be immediately concerned.

Work is a half-year away, but the Washington Department of Transportation is in the planning stages of a project that will see the bridge stripped of its current coating and repainted.

Members of the Buckley City Council did their part to make the project happen last week, when they agreed to temporarily waive a portion of the city’s noise ordinance. WSDOT had asked for the exemption to the Buckley Municipal Code as part of its planning process.

The measure passed by the council allows for crews to work between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. five days a week, for a total of 140 non-consecutive nights. Work will not be done Friday and Saturday nights. The DOT estimates the project will begin in the spring and wrap up by fall 2018.

In planning the work for nighttime hours, the DOT is hoping to minimize traffic backups and delays on the busy stretch of state Route 410. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some inconvenience for those driving over the bridge, however.

At times, flaggers will be in place during nighttime work, alternating traffic over a single lane. At other times, traffic will continue to flow in each direction, but travel lanes will shrink and vehicles will need to squeeze their way across the two-lane bridge.

Workers will be using noisy implements like jackhammers, vacuums and sandblasters. Those living near the bridge might notice bright lights, too.

Also during their meeting on Sept. 12, members of the City Council awarded a contract that will see sidewalks replaced at 11 locations throughout Buckley.

The work will be done during the next couple of months.

The best bid, totaling $23,675, was submitted by K&A Construction of Seattle. Five other bids were received, ranging from $24,575 to $47,355.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, it was incorrectly stated project work on the bridge would occur between 8 p.m. and 5 p.m. Work will occur 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.