TACOMA, Wash. — The Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge that crosses the Puyallup River in Tacoma reopened Saturday morning. The bridge closed in May 2018 as part of a nearly $42 million project to replace the aging span.
The bridge, formally known as the Puyallup River Bridge, links Tacoma and Fife. It first opened in 1927 as one of Washington’s last segments of the famous Pacific Highway, now known as Highway 99.
When Interstate 5 opened in December 1960, the bridge lost much of its daily traffic.
Now revamped, the Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge can hold up to 20 tons, double that of the pre-closure restriction. Empty trucks to and from the Port of Tacoma can now use the bridge.
The bridge was renamed Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge, or yabuk’wali, meaning “place of a fight,” was a collaborative effort between the Puyallup Tribe and City of Tacoma. It promotes the revitalization of the Twulshootseed language and commemorates a meaningful tribal connection to the City of Tacoma.
“Naming this bridge after the Fishing Wars will help future generations know what happened here,” said Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman David Z. Bean. “But it is also symbolic of bridging our past with our present and our future, and of bridging our communities.”