WALLA WALLA, Washington – One of two bridges along Mill Creek has been removed as a contractor works to replace it and the other one quickly. At a price tag of about $11.5 million, Walla Walla County Public Works is replacing the Blue Creek Bridge and Mill Creek Bridge, plus realigning and widening Mill Creek Road.
The Blue Creek Bridge project will replace the existing 80-foot bridge with a single-span, 131-foot bridge. Crews have already demolished the Blue Creek Bridge and have erected a temporary bridge to allow residents to cross Mill Creek. The Mill Creek Bridge will replace an existing 100-foot bridge with a single-span, 168-foot bridge relocating it south to the original channel.
The bridge removal and replacement is the biggest part of that project, as both bridges need to be completed during the fish passage window.
“From July 1 is essentially where our fish window begins for the in-water work part of the project,” Public Works Director Tony Garcia said. “So we have to be done with that in-water work by the end of September. So (it’s a) very, very limited time frame there.”
Garcia said that Mill Creek Road is open.
“That is one of my main goals is to make sure we’re not basically just putting a road closure and sending people around,” he said. “That is one of the reasons we have the temporary bridges, going through the expense, to continue traffic.”
Motorists will encounter some flagging stations along Mill Creek Road. Garcia asks drivers to obey the reduced speed limits in the construction zone for the safety of the drivers and the crews working on the project.