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Posted on: August 26, 2019

Repainting starts this week on Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges

Visitors to Deception Pass State Park encouraged to plan around construction schedule

OLYMPIA – Aug. 26, 2019 –The Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges, which connect key areas of Deception Pass State Park, will get a new paint job, starting this week when Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) contractor crews begin repainting the iconic structures.

The two bridges link Whidbey and Fidalgo islands and are the most recognizable symbols associated with Deception Pass State Park, which attracts more than three million visits a year.

While the work will create minimal impact on state park operations or traffic along the affected State Route 20 (SR 20), visitors should be aware of the project schedule when planning trips to Deception Pass and other parks in the area.

During construction, one sidewalk will remain open across the bridges, but crews will stage equipment in the parking areas along SR 20, which will limit parking near the bridges.

Protective coating
The bridges received a fresh coat of paint more than two decades ago, but in the intervening years, saltwater and sun exposure caused corrosion. Left untreated, that corrosion could eventually compromise structural integrity.

According to WSDOT, more than 18,000 people rely on the bridges every day. The spans provide the only land-based access between Whidbey Island and the mainland.

24-hour schedule
Park visitors should expect construction noise from sandblasting, painting, rivet work and vacuuming between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with less noise overnight. WSDOT recommends that visitors bring ear protection for themselves and their children.

Most of the work will take place under the structures, allowing all lanes of SR 20 to remain open during the day.

During the night shift, crews will focus on delivering materials and staging equipment for the following day; this work, which is less noisy, will require lane reductions of SR 20. Lane reductions will happen every night, Saturday through Thursday, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

All lanes will be open between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Crews will work through the winter, weather permitting, and expect to complete the $22.6 million dollar project in fall 2020.

Tips for park users
Park visitors can still enjoy the bridges during construction. Travelers to Deception Pass can plan trips and find additional information here:

Most park access points will remain open through all phases of the project. Park staff encourage visitors to seek information from rangers, park aides and office staff onsite.

Travelers can find up-to-date project information by:

About Deception Pass State Park
Deception Pass State Park is Washington’s most visited state park and an international tourism destination. The marine and camping park spreads over 3,900 acres with 14.5 miles of saltwater shoreline and 36.4 miles of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. The park is popular with anglers, whale watchers and paddlers, and it is rich in Civilian Conservation Corps history. Deception Pass is located on two islands — Fidalgo to the north and Whidbey to the south. The Canoe Pass and Deception Pass bridges connect the two islands, creating a gateway for exploration. For more information, visit:

News media contacts:
Andrea E. Petrich, WSDOT Communications, (360) 757-5963
Meryl Lassen, Communications Consultant, Washington State Parks, (360) 902-8557
Joy Kacoroski, Interpretive Specialist, Deception Pass State Park, (360) 675-376


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

 News release number: 19-067

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