SR-509 bridge repair begins soon

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will begin repairs soon to a section of the SR-509 Puyallup River Bridge in Tacoma damaged by a rail car fire on Dec. 11, 2002. Intense heat from the blaze damaged two columns and 15 girders. It also closed the highway for more than 12 hours.

Following the fire, bridge engineers inspected the damage. Their assessment resulted in a weight restriction on the bridge and temporary repairs to some piers and girders.

Starting next month and through June 2010, crews will remove and replace the damaged 140-foot-long girders and pour a new concrete bridge deck. The work requires reducing a portion of SR-509 between Tacoma and Fife from four lanes to two lanes. Also, beginning Fri., Oct. 30 at 11 p.m. to Mon., Nov. 2 at 4 a.m., WSDOT will close northbound and southbound lanes to all traffic between I-705 in downtown Tacoma and Port of Tacoma Road. A signed detour route will be posted.

In June, WSDOT awarded the $4.8 million repair contract to Granite Construction Company. Replacement concrete girders were ordered and work is ready to begin.

For additional photos of the project, visit WSDOT’s Flickr page at .