Fox Island Bridge work delayed for start of school; Time shift for paving near Peninsula High School

Drivers using the Fox Island bridge will get a break for the first week of school.

Pierce County has delayed scheduled paving work to avoid snarling traffic this week, the beginning of the school year for most students in the Peninsula School District.

At the same time, work schedules on a street project near Peninsula High School are being shifted to avoid disrupting school traffic there.

The work on the Fox Island bridge was set to begin Monday, August 26, the first day of school. Instead, it will begin Monday, Sept. 9 and continue into the next day. In order to accommodate school start and end times, work will not begin until 9:30 a.m. and will stop at 2 p.m.

During work hours, the road will be reduced to one lane with alternating traffic.

Meanwhile, work hours on paving and intersection improvements at 62nd Avenue Northwest and 144th Street Northwest, near Peninsula High School, are being changed to accommodate high school traffic. Crews will work between 9:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays throughout the project, which will continue through late September.

Motorists should add extra travel time and expect traffic delays, said Anne Radford, a spokesperson for the county Planning and Public Works Department.

On Tuesday, August 27, county crews were scheduled to conduct a detailed inspection of the Fox Island bridge, using a special truck that can peer under the structure. Engineering staff will use the data collect to assess the condition of the bridge’s structural components for future maintenance needs.

The inspection is performed every other year as part of a Pierce County’s bridge inspection program.

Built in 1954, the Fox Island Bridge is constructed of cast-in-place concrete and steel beams. At 1,950 feet, it is the longest vehicle bridge maintained by Pierce County. It carries approximately 6,875 vehicles a day.