Old Puyallup River Bridge is up for grabs
If you’ve ever wanted a nearly 100-year-old structurally deficient bridge of your very own, the Washington State Department of Transportation has a deal for you. What would you do with the old Puyallup River Bridge?
WSDOT is looking to hand over the 92-year-old bridge. It was decommissioned in 2015 after its replacement for the SR 167 connection was opened. WSDOT states that the old Puyallup River Bridge had weight restrictions that hampered large trucks from using it. Also, it became “structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.”
RELATED: WSDOT giving away free, used bridge
But that doesn’t mean it’s not good enough for another city, county or private entity. WSDOT points out that it would make a great pedestrian or bike crossing. The offer to hand over the bridge will last until June 2019, after which the state will melt it down. But WSDOT notes that it may have some historical significance apt for the national register of historical places. The new owner will have to pay to move it. They will also have to pay to maintain the bridge and any aspects that give it historical significance. Also, the bridge deck and substructure are not included.
Old Puyallup River Bridge stats:
- Built in 1925; decommissioned in 2015
- 379 tons
- 371 feet long; long enough to carry 20 cars end-to-end
- Constructed with unique riveted steel Warner through truss span; it was the longest bridge in Washington to use this type of construction before it was removed
What would you do with the Puyallup River Bridge?
The staff at MyNorthwest / KIRO Radio thought long and hard — about 4 minutes — about what they would do with the old Puyallup River Bridge. Here are our top five ideas.
- Retired commuters could relive the good old times: Not adjusting to life after work just yet? Just place the bridge anywhere and fill it with cars. Then sit in your car and relive all your old commutes to work, sitting in traffic. Turn on the radio and listen to some talk shows. Get frustrated that no one has done anything to fix this traffic mess. It’s just like good old days.
- Take it to Burning Man: Use it as camping structure, an art piece, or just something to climb around on. And if you think that hauling a 379-ton structure to Nevada is unreasonable, consider that someone managed to haul the fuselage of a Boeing 747 to the event.
- Seattle’s hottest, newest club is “The Bridge”: If you like structurally deficiency and functional obsolescence, then “The Bridge” is the club for you. It’s got everything: rivets; alternating diagonal truss members; and deteriorated floor beams. Seattle has a new and growing population of highly-paid tech workers. The bridge could not only be a nightclub for these newcomers, but also an educational experience. Club goers could get a piece of Washington history, and also experience what the region’s workers have endured for decades before them — sticking around on a roadway and not going anywhere fast. At least they’ll have a DJ.
- Blow it up: This perhaps doesn’t speak well to the collective mentality of MyNorthwest, but multiple people suggested destroying the bridge. As the Northwest has historically done with things it doesn’t know what to do with anymore — whales, Kingdomes, etc. — the bridge could just be blown up for spectacle. It could be like an “Office Space” style catharsis.
- Climbing wall: Northwesterners love bouldering and climbing walls. But what a unique experience climbing around on an old Warner truss bridge could be. Grab some chalk and climbing rope.
What would you do with the old bridge?