Cowlitz River Bridge Work Expected to Cause Significant Delays on Southbound Interstate 5 Aug. 26 to Sept. 16


People living and driving near Toledo and Vader in Lewis County will need to plan for extended delays on southbound Interstate 5 between Monday, Aug. 29, and Friday, Sept. 16, the state Department of Transportation announced on Friday.

Southbound I-5 near the Cowlitz River Bridge will be reduced from two lanes to one and the State Route 506 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will be closed around the clock during the following times:

• 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 29, through 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2

• 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, through 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16

During the closures, Washington state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) contractor crews from Granite Construction will remove non-cement bridge deck patches and replace them with concrete patches.

Ahead of the lane closures, travelers will follow advanced directional signs guiding them to begin shifting from two lanes of traffic down to a single lane. For everyone’s safety, the speed limit will be reduced from 70 mph to 55 mph through the work zone, according to WSDOT.

Travelers may encounter significant delays of more than 30 minutes in the morning and up to an hour during peak afternoon travel times, according to WSDOT.

WSDOT advised drivers to consider rescheduling discretionary trips, delaying travel if possible or using an alternate route during the closures. Before heading out, drivers can sign up to receive email/text construction updates, view the WSDOT real-time travel map or upload the free WSDOT mobile app.

Once complete with the southbound lanes, crews will do similar preservation work on the northbound side. One of two lanes of northbound I-5 near the Cowlitz River Bridge will be closed Sept. 19-23 and Sept. 26-30.

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, according to WSDOT.

The $3.8 million project is scheduled for completion this fall.