Cascade Orchard Bridge
Over the years, several bridges have spanned the Wenatchee River at the location of the Cascade Orchard Bridge. It appears the original bridge was named after a plat that divided property in 1905 from the river all the way past East Leavenworth Road. The plat was called Cascade Orchards.
Completed in September 1965, the current bridge replaced a steel truss bridge that had been there prior for about 30 years. The current bridge, which is 390 feet long and has a central span of 175 feet, cost $203,921 to build. In 1966, it was chosen by the Prestressed Concrete Institute Awards Jury to receive the Special Bridge Award as the bridge demonstrating the best application of prestressed concrete, which was just gaining ground in construction at that time. The award brought some notoriety to the county and city of Leavenworth when it was featured in engineering magazines across the nation.
When once the Cascade Orchard Bridge served as a connector for orchardists and loggers, today it receives high recreational and multi-modal traffic year-round. (The below photo was on the cover of Prepressed Bridge Bulletin in August 1965)
Project Description & Benefits
Today the condition of the 57-year-old bridge has deteriorated to a point where moisture is easily penetrating the deck surface and impacting the integrity of the steel and its adhesion to the concrete. Chelan County Public Works has patched the bridge several times in the past – about once every couple of years – but now a more permanent fix is necessary.
The county’s contractor will remove the top 1.5 inches of the concrete bridge deck and replace it with a concrete overlay that should last at least 30 years. The project also calls for slightly widening the sidewalks on both sides (4 feet in width, widening to 5 feet at midspan to meet ADA standards). Taller bridge railing that meet today’s safety standards and accommodates pedestrians also will be added.
A $1.9 million construction contract was awarded to MJ Hughes Construction of Vancouver, Wash. Construction will take 60 days and will begin June 16. Important construction dates include:
Construction Begins: June 16
Start Date of 30-Day Full Closure: Sept. 6
Completion: October 2022
For most of construction, the bridge will be open to one lane, with flaggers directing traffic. However, a 30-day closure of the bridge is necessary. A detour route will be established via East Leavenworth Road.
Parking near the bridge that is typically used by recreationists on the Icicle Creek will remain open during construction. Access to under the bridge must remain open for construction staging and to allow residents continued access to their property on the other side of the bridge.
The $2.26 million project will be paid for primarily with federal bridge monies from the Suface Transportation Block Grant program. Any remaining dollars will be paid for by county road funds.
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Frequently Asked Questions
To replace the bridge on Icicle Road would cost millions of dollars and take years to secure. Chelan County relies heavily on grants to complete large road projects. In addition, the bridge has no weight restrictions and its damages are mainly limited to its deck.
The sidewalks will be slightly wider and lower to the roadway. The taller safety railing will meet current safety standards. And the approaches to the sidewalks also will be repaired and made accessible to everyone.
After the deck restoration work is completed, adult bicyclists will continue to use the roadway when crossing the Cascade Orchard Bridge.
Because we are slightly widening the sidewalks on both sides, this will result in narrower traveling lanes for vehicles. Each travel lane will be reduced by about 1.5 feet. The driving lane will still be wider than on our average county roads.
For most of construction, the bridge will be open to one lane, with flaggers or automated traffic signals directing traffic. However, a 30-day closure of the bridge is necessary. A detour route will be established via East Leavenworth Road. Emergency vehicles will have priority to cross the bridge during construction and will be accommodated, when feasible, to cross the bridge, even when the bridge is closed. There will be times the emergency vehicles will need to use the detour. They will be notified well ahead of time and we will keep the period of complete closure to a minimum.
Parking near the bridge that is typically used by recreationists on the Icicle Creek will remain open during construction.
The 30-day closure is necessary to remove 1.5 inches of the current deck surface, perform any needed repairs to the deck reinforcing bars, repair deeper areas of damage, and place a homogenous new deck surface that will have a better chance of sustaining 30 more years of traffic and adverse weather.
Posted: 04/07/2022 01:15 PM
Last Updated: 09/30/2022 03:01 PM