Murray Morgan Bridge to stay open, WSDOT says

The historic span gets a reprieve - at least for the time being.

The Murray Morgan Bridge, which carries 11th Street between the Port of Tacoma and the city’s downtown, will remain open beyond the end of the year to vehicle traffic following a positive bridge inspection report, Washington State Department of Transportation officials announced yesterday.

“At this point we hope that the bridge can remain open to traffic until it is scheduled for demolition in 2006,” said Ron Landon, project development engineer.

In April 2002, the department imposed a 10-ton weight limit restriction for the historic bridge after an annual inspection raised concerns about the effect of heavy loads on the 92-year-old bridge.

In addition to the weight restrictions, the bridge was reduced to two-lanes.
The Murray Morgan Bridge, 1,748 feet long, was built in 1911 and was rebuilt in 1957.

In 1997, the lift-span bridge was named for the Tacoma native and historian Murray Morgan, who had reportedly worked as a Tacoma-area bridge tender in the 1950s.

The bridge’s condition will be evaluated every six months. The department will need to close the bridge if the regular inspections determine it’s condition has deteriorated, Landon said.

The Murray Morgan Bridge - which connects downtown and the Port of Tacoma - will remain open for now. (Photo by Brett Davis)
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