White River bridge closing changed for December

When the state Department of Transportation recently announced work on the steel span between Enumclaw and Buckley would necessitate a complete bridge closure for three consecutive December weekends, governments in the two Plateau cities objected. And the DOT, along with its project contractor, quickly altered the work schedule.

Damage to the White River bridge was found Saturday

All might agree the White River Bridge needs timely and permanent repair, but the state of the Plateau economy took precedence.

When the state Department of Transportation recently announced work on the steel span between Enumclaw and Buckley would necessitate a complete bridge closure for three consecutive December weekends, governments in the two Plateau cities objected. And the DOT, along with its project contractor, quickly altered the work schedule.

Enumclaw City Administrator Chris Searcy and his Buckley counterpart, Dave Schmidt, made it clear to the state agency that weekend closures on the three weekends prior to Christmas would have a significant impact on local commerce.

In an Oct. 20 email to the DOT, Searcy noted original plans called for four weekend closures of the bridge, on nonconsecutive weekends, to be scattered between October and December. When an updated schedule was provided, it called for the bridge to be shut down three weekends in a row.

“This is not acceptable to either Enumclaw or Buckley businesses that rely on weekend traffic across the White River during this important season for retail sales,” Searcy wrote to the DOT. “The City of Enumclaw requests you delay the December full weekend closures to January 2016 to avoid these adverse economic impacts. The residents and businesses of our two communities should not be adversely impacted by this repair work.”

By the following day, a compromise had been reached. Searcy received and email from a DOT representative stating, in part: “We received many concerns about the schedule and its effect on local businesses during the peak of the holiday shopping season. As a result, we went back to the contractor and worked closely with them to reduce the number of weekends in December.”

Now, there is just one full weekend closure in December.

The new schedule will still impact those leaving the area for shopping, as well as those heading to Mount Rainier and the Crystal Mountain ski area. The bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday the weekends of Nov. 20-23 and Dec. 11-14; a shorter closure is planned for 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, until 10 the following morning.

There will also be up to two weekend closures in January, according to the DOT. Those dates have not been determined and could be on consecutive weekends.

“There is never a good time for full closures of the SR 410 White River Bridge, as it’s a vital lifeline connecting local communities,” the DOT’s email acknowledges. “We’re pleased that people shared their concerns and suggested alternates and we were able to revise the schedule.”

In addition to weekend work, the contractor may close one lane across the bridge from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Monday through Thursday nights, as well as Sunday nights, the DOT’s email noted. Those overnight closures are anticipated between Nov. 9 and Jan. 15.

 

More in News

Group moving ahead with plans for Mount Peak tower

The Mount Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association may have to shift where the tower would be placed, and the cost is estimated at $450,000.

Pamphlets, primary ballots headed for voters’ hands

The first round of election materials are scheduled to hit the mail July 12 in Pierce County and July 17 in King County.

Proudly in defense of breastfeeding, in King County and everywhere | Public Health Insider

Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health—Seattle & King County, responded to the news that the United States government aggressively attempted to water down international support for breast-feeding through the World Health Organization.

Buckley discusses potential 83 unit apartment complex development

The conversation is taken its very first steps. But the direction council members decide to head will likely affect Buckley’s future for years to come.

State survey seeks information from SR 410 drivers

Make sure to let WSDOT know how you think traffic between Bonney Lake and Enumclaw can be improved by Sunday, July 22.

Road work affects SR 167 night traffic | Department of Transportation

The project also includes repaving on-ramps and exits within the project limits. Crews are also scheduled to repair a number of aging bridge expansion joints.

The Carlton Complex wildfire burned in north-central Washington state in 2014. Photo by Jason Kriess/Wikimedia Commons
King County burn ban under way

Other counties across the state have already enacted similar restrictions.

Between Seattle’s $15 minimum wage and the new no-poach cause agreement, Washington has been leading the nation in advancing fast food workers’ rights. Photo by Fibonacci Blue/Flickr
Washington AG’s deal grants mobility to fast food workers nationwide

Seven fast food chains have agreed to end no-poaching policies that economists say cause wage stagnation.

Dianne Laurine, a Commissioner for the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities says that she needs plastic straws to drink liquids, and that she easily bites through ones made out of paper. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Straw ban leaves disabled community feeling high and dry

Although disabled people are exempted from Seattle’s new law, the impacted community says that businesses haven’t gotten the message.

Most Read