WENATCHEE — After all the detours and bumpy drives over the last two years, work on the east end of the George Sellar Bridge will be completed this week.
The $28 million project added a two-lane bypass route to Highway 28 from the bridge and a new concrete intersection and third left-turn lane at the highway’s intersection with Grant Road.
The work is part of a three-phase project to improve safety and traffic flow up to and over the Sellar Bridge between Wenatchee and East Wenatchee — the region’s most heavily traveled span.
The first phase added a third eastbound lane and pedestrian walkway across the bridge and was completed in 2011. The eastside project began that same year. Some of the biggest impacts to drivers came earlier this year when the stretch of highway between the bridge and Grant Road was closed for several days for construction of the new intersection.
The third phase — on the west side — is still ongoing. It will widen the bridge over South Wenatchee Avenue, add a new off-ramp and add a second left-turn lane onto Mission Street. That work is scheduled to be completed this fall.
Altogether, the bridge improvement work will cost more than $60 million.
The final headache for drivers on the east side will come Thursday night, when a section of Sunset Highway just south of the bridge will be closed while crews smooth out the new pavement joints. Traffic will be detoured at 9th Street up to Valley Mall Parkway from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Friday.
Then from Friday night until Monday morning, traffic at the west end of the bridge will be restricted to one lane while the new bridge section is connected to the existing bridge over South Wenatchee Avenue and the new concrete is poured. Similar lane restrictions are scheduled for next weekend and the weekend after Labor Day.
Kevin Waligorski, a state Department of Transportation project manager, said the bridge work is within budget and on time so far.