Crews lay 85-foot girders for new Bellingham bridge

Workers on the bridge-construction project that closed James Street Road reached a milestone of sorts on Monday, Sept. 29.

“This is the point in the project that it really starts looking like a bridge,” said project manager Craig Mueller, in a phone interview from the construction site.

Using large cranes, crews moved seven, 85-foot-long reinforced concrete girders into place Monday, which will support the bridge deck. James Street Road has been closed since July from Sunset Pond Park to Orchard Drive, so two worn bridges could be replaced by a single span.

“The original bridges were timber bridges from the 1920s and were slowly deteriorating,” Mueller said.

Crews also will widen James Street Road, and add bicycle lanes and sidewalks. The project remains on schedule; the city still plans to reopen the road in December.

A related project to reroute Squalicum Creek away from Sunset Pond and under the new bridge for the benefit of salmon should happen next year, Mueller said.