A new contractor will start work Monday to finish the restoration project at the Deception Pass Bridge after the former contractor defaulted on its contract, Washington State Department of Transportation announced this week.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2020 but was delayed by a year because of the amount of paint build-up on the bridge. Winter weather and the pandemic were also a factor in the delay.
Restoration work on the bridge began in 2019.
In November, the project’s bondholder issued a notice for former contractor Eagle Industrial Painting, LLC to enter a winter suspension and said it would look for a new contractor.
About a third of the project was completed by September, according to WSDOT project engineer Shane Spahr.
The bondholder recently secured Cekra Inc. from North Carolina to finish the job.
“While I cannot discuss the specifics of this default, I can assure you that contract issues like this are rare,” WSDOT Communications Specialist Jordan Longacre said in an email.
Longacre said Cekra will pick up where the previous contractor left off, and the $22 million budget has not changed. He said he was not aware of any additional costs.
Although WSDOT initially said work would be done by the end of the year, Longacre clarified Monday explaining Cekra would submit a project schedule soon.
Sandblasting and painting work will begin in March, weather permitting, from 8 a.m. through 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. WSDOT advised travelers to expect noise “similar to a rock concert” on and around the bridge.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday through Thursday at times to allow work crews to move equipment and materials.