Deception Pass Bridge will be closed for five nights this summer for paving and bridge maintenance.
While the dates of the closures have yet to be set, planners anticipate five 10-hour overnight closures of the bridge from about 7-8 p.m. to 5-6 a.m., according to Tom Pearce with the Washington State Department of Transportation communications office.
“We’ll have signs posted,” Pearce said. “We’ll use several methods to reach out to the public to let them know when the closures will be.”
The closures of both Deception Pass Bridge and Canoe Pass Bridge are part of a larger paving project running from Frostad Road north to Sharpes Corner.
Pearce said there will only be partial, one-lane closures during the non-bridge road paving portions of the project.
Trooper Mark Francis with the Washington State Patrol said drivers should remember that fines are double in construction zones and they should drive with caution.
The state will put the construction project out for bid next month, a contractor will be selected in March and the entire paving is expected to be completed July through September.
Francis said because construction will be happening at the height of tourist season, travelers will need to be patient and plan ahead.
“In addition to packing your bags and your lunch, we want people to pack their patience,” Francis said.
Because of the heightened tourist activity, Francis said the partial closures will feel like a full closure because traffic will back up significantly.
For that reason, Francis recommends staying informed through the WSDOT website and seeking out alternative ways to get off the island such as the Clinton and Coupeville ferries.
This stretch of highway was last repaved in 1994 and 1996 and crews will be repairing worn pavement, lanes with rutting, cracks and potholes, according to WSDOT. Vehicle traffic along this route has increased by 20 percent since 1993, with more than 18,000 vehicles passing through daily.
In addition to paving the bridge, routine maintenance will also be performed including bridge deck repairs, replacement of bridge joint casings, new pavement markers and erosion control work.
Repaving the highway now will reduce annual maintenance and repair costs moving forward, according to WSDOT.