Restrictions planned for old, congested Pierce Co. bridge



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Posted on April 16, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 10:59 PM

PUYALLUP -- The Pierce County Council is expected to approve new restrictions on the old Milroy Bridge next month, preventing large tractor-trailers from clogging the old, frequently backed up crossing over the Puyallup River.

Built 83 years ago, the Milroy Bridge is considered "functionally obsolete", and has a rating of 37 out of 100.

"When you're on the bridge with semi-trucks going across, you can feel it wiggle," described Kathy Bizak, who co-owns a business across from the bridge.

"You never used to see a semi-truck try to cross the bridge," she continued, "Now it's a daily occurrence."

The bridge is co-owned by Pierce County and Fife, the latter has already agreed to restricting trucks 28-feet and longer from using the bridge.

The crossing is popular with cargo trucks because of its proximity to the Port of Tacoma.  Pierce County Councilwoman Joyce McDonald admits the change will force a bit of a longer commute, but said it's worth it.

"It's not dangerous," she said, "It's just not built to today's standards."

McDonald said the bridge situation is a reminder to state lawmakers of the need to complete SR 167, a long desired project that supporters say would help connect the Port of Tacoma to other vital highways. 

There are no immediate plans to replace the bridge, but McDonald said it is on a long-term fix list.

It is not clear when the restrictions will take place.  Council members take up the issue May 6th.