The new bridge is being built directly next to the old bridge. The Auto Tour Route can be accessed on Saturdays and Sundays during bridge construction.  Photo courtesy of Ceccanti, Inc.

The new bridge is being built directly next to the old bridge. The Auto Tour Route can be accessed on Saturdays and Sundays during bridge construction. Photo courtesy of Ceccanti, Inc.

public access improvement at ridgefield nwr

River ‘S’ Bridge Replacement

Beginning March 18, 2019, construction will begin to replace the existing single-lane bridge that provides access over Lake River to the Auto Tour Route and the Kiwa Trail at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge’s River S Unit. The new bridge will be two lanes wide and will cross over both the railroad tracks and the river.

Latest Update

“Setting Girders and Pouring the Deck at the River ‘S’ Bridge” August 21, 2019

SPECIAL FEATURE: “The Wild Side of Bridge Construction” June 6, 2019

See all River S Bridge Replacement Updates

Key Dates

March 18, 2019: Access to the Auto Tour Route changes to weekends only (Saturday and Sunday). There will be no public access to the River S Unit Monday through Friday.

Why is this an important improvement?

This is a much-needed project to improve public safety and relieve congestion to the Refuge’s very popular Auto Tour Route. The existing one-lane bridge allows for only one vehicle at a time, which leads to confusion and traffic back-ups during peak times. A two-lane bridge will keep vehicles flowing more smoothly in both directions.

Currently, the road to the one-lane bridge from Hillhurst Road crosses heavily used railroad tracks. The new bridge will be constructed over the tracks, meaning fewer safety concerns and no getting stuck waiting for a long, slow-moving train.

Visitor Impact

Once the project is underway in March, access to the Auto Tour Route will be limited to weekends only. The reason for this is that the new bridge will be constructed next to the existing bridge and the construction crew will be performing their work from the existing bridge during the week.

Check back to Refuge2020.info and the Ridgefield NWR website for specific closure dates and other project updates.