State Route 26 detour extended

WSDOT says work has taken longer than anticipated



The map above shows the 32-mile detour drivers have to take on State Route 26. Eastbound traffic at Othello turns south on SR 17 to SR 260, then heads east to Connell, then north on US 395 back to SR 26. Westbound traffic from Washtucna follows the same route in reverse.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced the 32-mile detour on State Route 26, created due to bridge repairs, will go longer than scheduled.

Contractors hoped to finish the project near Othello, which costs $1.2 million, by Nov. 21, according to a WSDOT news release. The work may now extend into December since the new concrete poured as part of the new bridge deck will not have time to fully cure by the original finishing date.

“Safety for travelers and workers is WSDOT’s first priority and requires the additional time for this project,” project engineer Dan Lewis said in the release. “At the same time, the simple detour has proven capable of safely accommodating high traffic volumes without significant delays.”

The detour extension means commuters driving to Pullman on Nov. 23 for the Apple Cup football game against University of Washington Huskies might have to deal with delays.

Longer-than-expected demolition work was also listed in the release as another reason for extending the detour dates.

The detour began in October due to the bridge’s deck layer reaching a high level of decay.