Structural deficiencies close Thurston County bridge

lpemberton@theolympian.comJanuary 27, 2014 

This south Thurston County Bridge, No. L4, on Littlerock Road Southwest, between 110th Ave. SW and 93rd Ave. SW, is slated to be closed today due to structural deficiencies. Motorists will be detoured in the area until repairs are made, county officials say.

LISA PEMBERTON; STAFF WRITER

A small bridge was shut down in south Thurston County on Monday due to structural deficiencies, officials said.

The bridge, known as No. L4 on Littlerock Road Southwest, is between 110th Avenue Southwest and 93rd Avenue Southwest. It’s paved and goes over Salmon Creek.

“We noticed a little change in the bridge decking, and so we did an inspection and found some scour under the center pier,” said Lucy Mills, a road operations manager with Thurston County Public Works. “Scour is when the water washes (away) the rock or the footing around the foundation.”

The bridge will remain closed until temporary repairs can be made, according to a county news release. Meantime, signs direct motorists to a 4-mile detour that goes along Case Road Southwest via 93rd Avenue Southwest and 113th Avenue.

“Once we get the temporary repair fixed, we’ll be doing a reassessment of the bridge,” Mills said. “It may be that we reopen it to passenger vehicles only.”

By federal law, bridges must be inspected every two years, she said.

“I believe (No. L4) was last inspected in 2012, and was due for inspection in 2014, this fall,” Mills said. The bridge is 30 feet wide, and about 66 feet long; it was built in the 1950s. It’s crossed about 6,000 times a day based on average daily traffic counts for that stretch of the Littlerock Road Southwest, according to Mills.

“We’re doing this in the interest of public safety,” she said. “We know it’s an inconvenience, but we feel it’s necessary.”

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com

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