October 2, 2000
Countdown to congestion relief
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
DUVALL -- Bob Lee's work is almost done. As King County's senior engineer for the Novelty Bridge construction project, he says he will miss it.
"It's a beautiful setting," he said last week, enjoying the view from the bridge. "I have enjoyed it and will miss coming out here."
The new bridge, sporting fresh coats of light blue and cream paint, is still on schedule to open October 15. An opening ceremony is set for October 25.
But before the celebrated first car is allowed to cross, there is quite a bit of work yet to be finished, some of it weather sensitive.
The final asphalt coating needs to be laid, and guard rails installed.
The finished"portals" still have to be painted. As part of the artwork, the portals will be multi-colored (purple, yellow and orange). Also included in the artwork are the wave-plate guard rails and granite and rock pylons at each side of the approach spans.
Workers are also digging out an area adjacent to the bridge to create flood plain storage as compensation for fill needed for the new structure.
The new bridge is much wider than the old one, at 12 meters from curb to curb, which will make the truckers happy.
There aren't too many trucks around the Valley, including the fire district's aid cars, that haven't lost at least one mirror on the old bridge.
The new structure will also have 2.4 meters of shoulder for pedestrian and bicycle use.
The opening of the Novelty Bridge will alleviate the morning and evening traffic jams on the Woodinville-Duvall Road. Traffic tieups, however, were not as bad as many residents had predicted.
Duvall Police Sgt. Bob Akey said the department is "looking forward to seeing traffic flowing normally again."
King County engineers had originally said bridge construction could take as long as 18 months, but pared it down to six months, offering incentives to the contractor for finishing early.
"Wilder Construction exceeded all expectations for getting the job done in time," said Lee.