Skip to main content

US 101 Elwha River Bridge Replacement Project – Environmental Assessment – Project overview

WSDOT proposes to fully replace the US 101 crossing over the Elwha River, located west of Port Angeles in Clallam County, Washington.  The purpose of the bridge replacement is to provide safe, long-term access across US 101.  The route provides the primary highway access for the communities and visitors across the Olympic Peninsula.

The existing US 101 Elwha River Bridge is a three-span concrete arch structure with two in-water piers.  At over 95 years old, the bridge has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced.  Additionally, in September of 2016, it was discovered that the piers supporting the existing bridge were compromised due to changes in river conditions. WSDOT crews immediately responded by adding rip rap, or small rocks around the bridge piers for stabilization efforts in fall of 2016 and 2017.  Continuous, around-the-clock bridge monitoring is being provided until long-term public safety needs can be ensured with a new crossing.

Aerial of US 101 Elwha River Bridge showing current conditions, including intersection with Olympic Hot Springs Road
US 101 Elwha River Bridge current conditions

Funds to replace the Elwha River Bridge have been secured and WSDOT plans to begin construction in spring of 2022. WSDOT plans to replace the existing bridge with a new crossing just north of its current location.  The shift in bridge alignment would provide a more gentle curve for US 101 travelers at the intersection with Olympic Hot Springs Road. WSDOT also plans to improve safety by adding illumination to the intersection as well.  This construction approach reduces lengthy delays by allowing travelers to remain on the existing bridge while a new crossing is built. There may be times during construction where travelers may be delayed or encounter a temporary closure to tie in the bridge approaches. During this time, travelers will detour using State Route 112 and 113.  Once construction is complete, traffic will shift onto the new bridge and the old bridge would be removed.  The graphic below illustrate the existing and proposed conditions of the bridge.

Aerial of US 101 Elwha River Bridge showing proposed conditions, including realigned intersection with Olympic Hot Springs Road
US 101 Elwha River Bridge proposed conditions

Project Schedule

  • Spring 2022
    Construction begins
  • Fall 2023
    Traffic moves onto the new bridge
    Demolition of the old bridge
  • Winter 2023
    Construction complete

For More Information

To view a detailed description of the project, please see Chapter 2 of the EA (PDF 506KB).