DAYTON — Motorists can expect delays and single lane traffic while crossing the Tongue River bridge east of Dayton on U.S. Highway 14. There will also be a 12-foot width restriction.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation announced that S&S Builders of Gillette began the bridge rehabilitation project Monday and hopes to finish before the Fourth of July weekend.
Traffic will be controlled with flagging operations during the day and portable traffic signals during nighttime hours. Speeds in the area have been reduced, and motorists are advised to be alert and drive cautiously.
“The delays are minimal, so please be patient,”said Jerry Buckley, WYDOT resident engineer. “We appreciate everyone’s cooperation.”
The Tongue River Bridge was built in 1968 and received a 2-inch epoxy overlay in the mid-1980s, according to Buckley. About two years ago, engineers noted the epoxy overlay was beginning to deteriorate, exposing rebar reinforcements and creating potholes.
Local and state bridge inspectors decided the safety of the bridge could be compromised and plans for rehabilitation were launched.
Construction crews will remove the concrete surface of the bridge — known as the bridge deck — one lane at a time. Crews will then pour a new concrete deck. The eastbound lane is currently closed and should open in mid-May when construction begins on the westbound lane.
The substructure of the bridge has not been compromised and will not be rehabilitated.
“It just needs a little TLC,” Buckley said.
Total bid for the project was $984,335. The bridge work will be paid for with WYDOT funds.