SR 26 Detour Update
OTHELLO, WA – The main thoroughfare from our area to the west side of Washington will still be detoured for another few weeks. State Route 26 runs from Colfax to Vantage where it meets up with Interstate 90.
Crews continue to work on the bridge over the railroad tracks east of Othello. A Department of Transportation official says they’re run into a few problems that have caused the delay in the opening. The colder temperatures make the concrete cure more slowly than they had predicted. Another situation they have worked around was making sure the train tracks remain open. The tracks are the main thoroughfare for Burlington Northern to get cargo to the west side of the state, and can’t close while work progresses. The contractor has had to re-work the original plan to meet the required safety standards.
The project was originally planned for spring, but bridge inspectors found the overpass would be unsafe during winter months, so the work had to start in fall.
The DOT spokesman said they started pouring concrete about a week ago so the bridge looks stable now, but it isn’t. Once the bridge deck concrete cures, they’ll start on the sides of the bridge.
Depending on the weather, the hope is to have the bridge finished and open by mid-December in time for WSU students to head home without having to use the detour.
Photo and detour map courtesy: WSDOT (photo taken earlier this month during demolition)