Tunnel continues taking shape

The Bremerton tunnel project remains on schedule and should be open in early 2008. - Photo by Charles Melton
The Bremerton tunnel project remains on schedule and should be open in early 2008.
— image credit: Photo by Charles Melton



Even the Dec. 7, 2007 record deluge unleashed by Mother Nature hasn’t been enough to slow the Bremerton tunnel project down as crews from Tri-State Construction are gaining ground in the new year.

“We’re back on track, and we had to deal with more contaminated soil than we expected,” said Washington State Department of Transportation project engineer Brendan Clarke.

The driving surface of the tunnel is being pieced together along with the tunnel walls, so it won’t be long before the first lid on the project is put into place, Clarke said.

The lid could be in place as early as four weeks, but that is largely contingent upon the two-week curing period for the concrete walls, he said.

Once the first lid is set in place, then the general public should have a greater appreciation for how the tunnel will look once it’s completed, he said.

“We’re working on the Burwell side so we can backfill from there,” he said.

Currently traffic is allowed to flow in both directions down 1st Street, but that will change once the project enters phases 2 and 3, he said.

“When we enter phases 2 and 3, people will have to use 2nd Street,” he said.

There will also be a slight shift in traffic going to and from the ferry terminal, but it won’t be significant, he said.

The anticipated start of that work is June, but once again that is contingent upon the contractor being able to stay on the current schedule, he said.

Clarke had nothing but the highest praise for the work being done by the contractor.

“They’re doing a fantastic job,” Clarke said.

Updates on the tunnel project can be found online at the project’s Web site, http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR304/BremertonTunnel/.

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