After being closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic for almost a month, the Peshastin River Bridge is slated to reopen this Friday, July 12.

The 97-year-old span that connects the small community of roughly 2,800 residents with U.S. Highway 2 was shut down on June 17 so contractor crews could make various repairs and upgrades.

Chelan County Commissioner Shon Smith says several of the fixes will be easily noticeable to drivers.

"They're grooving it this week and paving the approaches to the bridge and when we reopen the bridge, motorists are going to notice that really smooth new bridge deck. The contractor also replaced the bridge's deck joints, and those are the bumpy ones that you hit and they make the clicking sound. But when they're smoothed out and are taken to the correct level, it's a nice, smooth transition, especially for larger vehicles."

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Smith says the County still has a wish list of other improvements for the bridge, but those will be harder to acquire the necessary funding to make happen.

"The bones of the bridge are just fine. It has good structure to it. But we'd all like for it to be wider and have a wider sidewalk, and we'd like to have larger lanes for the big trucks that come and go from the fruit warehouses through there and for the school buses. But that is a very large lift when it comes to investing that kind of money in one spot and the state doesn't generally do that."

The cost of updating the Peshastin Bridge is being provided through a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The work is part of a larger project to make upgrades to five bridges throughout Chelan County, including the Ardenvoir Bridge; the New Griffith Bridge on Entiat River Road; the Chelan Falls Bridge on Chelan Falls Road; and the Stone Hill Bridge on Colockum Road.

The total price tag for updating the five bridges is estimated at $3.6 million.

Counties with the most bridges in dire need of repair in Idaho

Stacker investigated which counties in Idaho have the most bridges in dire need of repair using data from the Federal Highway Administration.

Gallery Credit: Stacker