Re: “Long effort to build a lahar bridge in Orting makes progress” (TNT, 10-30).
I travel the road to Orting often. One thing that I think of every time is when will they replace the old narrow bridge that is such a safety hazard near McMillin. It is a well-traveled road that is beyond overdue for this replacement.
I then read of a proposed foot bridge that may never be needed and may cost $50 million. It seems a lahar foot bridge is a very good idea, but the $50 million cost will kill the project. If they really want this idea to get done they need to scale back the project’s scope.
Instead of a concrete structure that could hold up several semi trucks, why not scale back to wood or other materials? I see pictures of wooden bridges on the East Coast that are over 100 years old that are in use today. A wooden structure would certainly be in step with Orting’s Old West theme and could be built for a fraction of the original $12.7 million budget proposed in 2003.
My point is alternatives abound for a project like this. but as usual the proposed one is a shoot-for-the-sky project that only makes the contractors wealthy and the community without something it feels it needs.