The House transportation budget released today would accelerate plans for tearing down and replacing the deteriorating 1925-built bridge that crosses the Puyallup River on northbound state Route 167.
Design work for the bridge replacement had been scheduled to wait until 2014, but lawmakers called for diverting $2.7 million in federal money from other projects to the bridge in the next two-year budget period.
The Department of Transportation moved up the project on its priority list after a recent inspection showed wear on the bridge’s floor beams. The inspection prompted WSDOT to restrict trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds to the bridge’s right lane, after first planning to close the bridge to the trucks altogether.
About 15,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day.
The project is now expected to be largely finished in the 2013-15 budget period and cost $30 million.
“We’re very happy that DOT revised their original plans,” said Rep. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup.
WSDOT originally planned to build a larger span at a cost of $54 million for both northbound and southbound lanes, but has now scaled back the project.