Around-the-Clock Interstate 5 Cowlitz River Bridge Lane Closure, Reduced Speed Limit Coming Near Vader


Motorists traveling through Southwest Washington on early summer road trips will need to plan for extended weekday delays on Interstate 5 in Lewis County.

Starting on Monday, June 5, Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) contractor Granite Construction will return to the Cowlitz River Bridge at milepost 59, near Vader. The crews will complete bridge deck patching work along the northbound bridge span, then southbound the following week.

Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, around the clock, during the following times:

• Northbound I-5: 8 p.m. Monday, June 5, through 10 a.m. Friday, June 9

• Southbound I-5: 8 p.m. Monday, June 12 through 10 a.m. Friday, June 16

During the southbound lane closure, the state Route 506 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will be closed as well.

“We understand that having one of the two travel lanes closed through this area is inconvenient,” Project Engineer Mike Briggs stated in a news release. “Every effort will be made to minimize disruptions and expedite the completion of the project.”

Prior to reaching the lane closures, travelers will follow advanced directional signs guiding them to begin shifting from two lanes of traffic down to a single lane. The speed limit will be reduced from 70 mph to 55 mph through the work zone.

During the closures, contractor crews will remove non-cementitious bridge deck patches and replace them with a more durable patching material. 

“Once the work is complete, the improvements will enhance the overall driving experience and extend the life of the bridge deck,” WSDOT stated. “Travelers should anticipate significant delays of more than 30 minutes in the morning and up to an hour during peak afternoon travel times. To avoid delays, consider rescheduling discretionary trips, delaying travel when possible or using an alternate route.” 

Work on the I-5 Cowlitz River bridges is part of the region-wide bridge deck patching pilot project to extend the useful life and smooth the decks of several bridges throughout Southwest Washington. This $3.8 million project is scheduled for completion this summer.