Drivers cross the Agate Pass Bridge. (Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review)

Drivers cross the Agate Pass Bridge. (Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review)

Agate Pass Bridge to stay open during two-year paint job

Green it is.

And green it will stay.

The Agate Pass Bridge will get a new coat of paint, and work will start on the Highway 305 span later this month, officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

The repainting of the entire bridge — its first since 1991 — will take two years and is expected to cost $16 million.

Crews will start mobilizing for the project next week, and should be at the bridge starting Wednesday, May 15.

State transportation officials said the bridge will be striped to bare metal before it is primed and painted.

The steel-truss bridge, built in 1950, will remain open during the work.

“The Agate Pass Bridge hasn’t had a full-scale paint job since 1991,” said Michele Britton, WSDOT project engineer. “It’s a big project to help protect this key transportation link against wind, rain and marine air for years to come.”

Though both lanes of the span will stay open during most of the work, drivers can expect occasional evening one-way lane closures.

The speed limit will be reduced to 35 mph during the work, officials added, and one sidewalk will remain open.

The contractor crew will take a section-by-section approach to the project. They will work in one section of the Agate Pass Bridge at a time, starting with the installation of a containment system to help protect the environment.

Afterward, a work platform will be put up within the containment system.

After the existing paint is removed, crews will repair or replace any damaged steel on the span, then apply new primer and paint.

The bridge will keep its existing green color.

Officials said the painting must be done during mostly dry and warm weather, and work will continue during the warm months over two years.

Officials expect the project to be finished in fall 2020.

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