City: Murray Morgan Bridge will re-open in time for centennial

The $37 million rehabilitation of the Murray Morgan Bridge in Tacoma will be done in time to celebrate the historic...

The $37 million rehabilitation of the Murray Morgan Bridge in Tacoma will be done in time to celebrate the historic structure’s centennial, according to city officials.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland inquired about the progress during last week’s city council study session.

“Public Works reports the project is on schedule to open to vehicle traffic by December 31, 2012, in anticipation of its 100 year anniversary on February 15, 2013,” wrote City Manager T. C. Broadnax in his Feb. 23 weekly report to city council.

Tacoma City Council awarded a contract to PCL Construction Services to rehabilitate the bridge by completing structural repairs, painting the bridge black, replacing the deck, and repairing or replacing the mechanical and electrical systems. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles Oct. 23, 2007, due to safety concerns that arose after weeks of inspections by Washington State Department of Transportation engineers. In 2008, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation included the bridge on its annual list of Most Endangered Properties. Also in 2008, the bridge was included on Historic Tacoma’s “Watch List” of endangered historic sites.

In November, Tacoma City Council’s environment and public works committee approved a recommendation to add an elevator and staircase to the north side of the bridge in order to connect Dock Street and Thea Foss Waterway to 11th Street and downtown Tacoma. The cost of building the new elevator and staircase would fall within the current budget for the rehabilitation of the bridge.

“The new stairs and elevator will also be open by December 31st,” added Broadnax. “There may be some additional work occurring on the bridge that will require occasional lane closures after December 31st.”

Murray Morgan Bridge. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Murray Morgan Bridge rehabilitation, click on the following links:

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