Yaquina Bay Bridge to get a new coat

Contractors prepare the roadway deck of the Yaquina Bay Bridge for a new coat of protective paint. (Photo by Bret Yager)

NEWPORT — Drivers may have noticed new activity on the north side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, with equipment and work trailers staging at the loop under the bridge and workers setting up equipment over the side of the railing.

Contractors are launching on a $2.8 million painting project designed to armor the roadway deck of the bridge against the elements. Work will continue through the end of October, Oregon Department of Transportation spokesperson Angela Beers-Seydel said in an email.

Drivers shouldn’t expect major traffic disruptions from the work; however, some lane closures will occur at night to move equipment intermittently throughout the project, with the first closure possible sometime next week, Beers-Seydel said.

The paint on the steel floor beams and stringers has eroded faster than other portions of the bridge — which was completed in 1936 — because they aren’t washed naturally by the rain, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Crews will scrub away paints and chlorides before applying the new coat.

“This work will help preserve the much-loved bridge that is a vital part of the coastal transportation system,” ODOT officials said.

More work is ahead after this project.

“The concrete portions of the bridge will receive a cathodic protection system beginning next year and will be a 3-5 year project,” Beers-Seydel said. “The next painting project on this bridge isn’t expected for at least 10 years.”

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