Safety concerns will close Tacoma bridge indefinitely

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by JANET KIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JanetKimK5

KING5.com

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 3 at 8:50 AM

TACOMA, Wash. -- A bridge spanning the Puyallup River that thousands of people use everyday will soon close due to safety concerns. The City of Tacoma will close the East 11th Street Bridge and the attached viaduct through the Port of Tacoma area. It will close on 11th between East Portland Avenue and Milwaukee Way.

City of Tacoma officials say deterioration of joints, beams, and trusses that has progressed slowly but steadily is now posing a safety concern.

The bridge was built in 1911 and has had trouble in the past. A 10-ton weight restriction was put into place in 2005. 

City and port officials are working to minimize impact to the port, one of the largest container ports in the country. They are providing maps with alternate routes to contractors and employees.
    
While the close date hasn't been set, it's expected to occur in the next several weeks. At that time, it will be closed indefinitely until a replacement can be made, which is an estimated cost of $40 million, with a $10 million demolition alternative. 

Drivers may use one of four other Puyallup River bridge crossings, though similar issues triggered weight restrictions on the Puyallup Avenue area bridge earlier this year.
 

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