Drivers across the Agate Pass Bridge may have noticed that all the tarps have been tucked away.
That’s because the painting project has been put on ice for the winter.
Officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation announced this week that work crews have temporarily suspended the large-scale painting project on the Agate Pass Bridge. Work on the span that connects Bainbridge Island to the Kitsap Peninsula is complete for this year, and officials said painting will continue once warm, dry weather returns in 2020.
Both sidewalks on the bridge have been opened for pedestrians, and the 45 mph speed limit on Highway 305 across the bridge has been restored. Temporary commercial vehicle restrictions for oversize/overweight vehicles are no longer necessary, and officials noted the bridge is now subject to standard restrictions.
The work began last summer, and crews set up a large containment system where workers stripped away old paint to bare metal and laid down a fresh coat.
Workers so far have repainted about 25 percent of the key span, officials said.
The painting project — which will cost $16 million — will extend the life of the bridge and protect it against rust.
Officials said the project will likely resume in early 2020 when consistently warm and dry weather returns. At that time, the Washington State Department of Transportation will again need to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph, close one of two sidewalks and prohibit oversized loads.
The project is anticipated to be complete next fall.